“Troublemaker” Finally Convinced Peers That Hub Trees Distribute Resources to Kin

(p. C7) Over the years, Ms. Simard encountered no shortage of pushback. Government bureaucrats were reluctant to spend money on her recommendations. Her managers resisted changing their forestry models and perhaps “couldn’t listen to women,” labeling her a “troublemaker.” Fellow scientists challenged her research methods. This last may have originated in envy, but ultimately is an important part of the scientific process—after all, without stringent vetting, we might still believe that Vulcan is, indeed, a planet. Today Ms. Simard’s research is widely accepted. We now know that through fungal networks trees share resources, that mature trees (what she calls “hub trees” in her research, and “mother trees” when speaking to popular audiences) support seedlings, favor their kin and distribute resources, even in death. It’s a radical new understanding of plants.

For the full review, see:

Eugenia Bone. “Seeing the Forest.” The Wall Street Journal (Saturday, May 8, 2021 [sic]): C7.

(Note: the online version of the review has the date May 7, 2021 [sic], and has the title “‘Finding the Mother Tree’ Review: Seeing the Forest.”)

The book under review is:

Simard, Suzanne. Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest. New York: Knopf, 2021.

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