Finding the Mother Tree

Suzanne Simard
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In Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest, one of the world's leading forest ecologists, Suzanne Simard, brings us into her world, the intimate world of the trees.

Simard brilliantly illuminates fascinating and vital truths – that trees are not simply the source of timber or pulp, but are a complex, interdependent circle of life; that forests are social, cooperative creatures connected through underground networks by which trees communicate their vitality and vulnerabilities with communal lives not that different from our own.

Simard writes – in inspiring, illuminating, and accessible ways – how trees, living side by side for hundreds of years, have evolved, how they perceive one another, learn and adapt their behaviors, recognize neighbors, and remember the past; how they have agency about the future; elicit warnings and mount defenses, compete and cooperate with one another with sophistication, characteristics ascribed to human intelligence, traits that are the essence of civil societies – and at the center of it all, the Mother Trees: the mysterious, powerful forces that connect and sustain the others that surround them.

Why we chose it

Suzanne Simard's research has profoundly changed our understanding of forests. A lifetime dedicated to living, working and exploring in the forest of British Columbia led her to fascinating discoveries that we all can learn from.

About Suzanne Simard

Suzanne Simard was born in the Monashee Mountains of British Columbia and was educated at the University of British Columbia and Oregon State University. She is Professor of Forest Ecology in the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Forestry. Her work has influenced filmmakers (the Tree of Souls of James Cameron’s Avatar) and her TED talks have been viewed by more than 10 million people worldwide.

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