According to Tony Kirkham, the head of the Arboretum at Kew Gardens trees are very much like us; they are intelligent social beings which talk to each other.
He supports the idea proposed by a German Forester Peter Wohlleben that trees communicate with each other underground through a “woodwide web“.
“In a natural environment the adults protect and nurture the young ones. And when a tree is stressed the canopies are touching, there’s a lot of networking going on underground with root systems and fungal systems and they share resources.”
He believes there is intelligence among trees and care between communities. He saw a knot of albino redwoods which obviously didn’t process chlorophyll but managed to survive on their own. “They must have been receiving nutrients from other trees”.
He also thinks trees have different personalities. Willows and Poplars are unsociable and don’t like company so their method of spreading seeds ensures that they are scattered far away from the parent tree.
Oaks on the other hand drop their acorns close by and the parent tree likes to safeguard it and bring it up.
Kirkham admits that however appealing this theory is it’s hard to prove.
Ents, whose name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word for giants, are similar to talking trees found in folklore around the world.
People also decorate trees with human features.
They also keep them warm with urban knitting, but that’s another story.