We Are the Forest.

Sunrise miles at Redwood Regional Park

Sunrise miles at Redwood Regional Park

Underneath these Redwood trees is a rich root system that allows them to communicate with each other. It's an entangled and highly efficient web of information that travels underground, alerting them to the presence of antagonistic fungi or insects, and allows nutrients and water to be optimally divided so photosynthesis takes place evenly.

When trees are being attacked by certain insects, they'll emit a scent which alerts and warns neighboring trees of the imminent danger. As a result, these trees will begin to release a scent that will attract those insects' predators. When an older tree falls, this highly integrated root system allows neighboring trees to continue to feed this parent stump for thousands of years, nourishing it and keeping it alive.

But interestingly enough, trees not only share food with their own species, but they even go so far as to nourish the species of other trees. Other trees classified as competition. Why? Because there are advantages to working as a collective whole. Together, the trees create an ecosystem that moderates temperature extremes and allows them to store a great deal of water and humidity that protects the forest as a whole. A tree alone is not a forest. Isolated from the rich root system and network, it cannot establish a consistent local climate. If every tree only watched out for itself, it would dry out in the summer heat. It would quickly fall prey to insects and wouldn't sustain nutrients. It would easily die.

It's time to send out our nutrients to our neighboring tree stumps who still need our help. To forget about our differences and communicate across species in order to survive. It's time to work together as one collective forest.