The Mother Tree Newsletter – Issue 2

This is the second in a series of newsletters highlighting the work we are doing. Planning for the 2021 field season is now underway and most of the crew from last summer will be back for another field season this year. We have several new presentations to share with you as well as highlights from a newly submitted journal article.

Click here to read the newsletter (PDF).

33 thoughts on “The Mother Tree Newsletter – Issue 2

  1. Joe Gardner says:

    I just finished reading Finding the Mother Tree. I got it at the Purcellville, VA library. It was recommended by the Washington Post. Awesome book! I assume the Project has “insiders” with policy makers. I consider that to be the only way to make real changes.
    Suzanne, I hope your health is allowing you to really look into the future. Looking at the website I see you have lots to help.

  2. Jane Rose says:

    Is there any similar work being done near eastern NC? I am seeking to restore the land next to me where the forest was clear cut 2 years ago and extend the forest into the adjoining land that was field. I have read Finding the Mother Tree and loved it, but was left wondering how to best plant a forest.

    • doug siddens says:

      Hello Jane
      I’ve started a Meetup group “Hillsborough NC Permaculture”. We can connect there. I’m working on two acres.

  3. Doug Graham says:

    I would like to know what tree combinations Dr Simard has learned cooperate best with each other besides birch and fir. Is there a paper describing this? Thank you. D)

  4. Susan Caruso says:

    I just finished this fantastic book. I too, am a daughter of a lumber man and I feel such a connection to the forest. it’s must-read for anyone who wants the planet to survive and thrive.

  5. Joy Ruppersburg says:

    WOW! Greetings from Northern California USA where we are grateful for you and your team’s work! You book has just arrived and I’m reading it with wonder, learning from each page.
    I sent copies to friends who are retired foresters; they too appreciate your work.
    Wishes for good health and continued with The Mother Tree Project.
    Gratitude from Joy and the pack in NORCAL

  6. Susan McCabe says:

    I hold this book as sacred, and i broke my book’s spine in loving it so much and underlining and putting hearts. I teach ecopoetics, and I am assigning this book, and trying to figure out what we as poets can do in the forests. I would love to bring a group of Phd Students studying with me at USC in Creative Writing who are eco-poets, attuned to ecobereavment and hungry to help. The poet Brenda Hillman has tried reading poems to trees and with trees; perhaps our study could be what spots –we know of course Mother tree will have the best air—but what we could read to and hear back from the trees… if they speak at all, they speak poetry. I may try to get an NEH If there are ecologists out there wanting to join with poets let me know; and also if I might think of taking my USC may-master 2022 class to one of the recovering rainforests….

  7. Suzanne Wright Crain says:

    I cried when I finished Suzanne’s book “Finding the Mother Tree.” It is such an interesting and inspiring journey. How do I apply this research and knowledge to my own stewardship practices in central Kentucky, USA? I would love to walk through the forrest with any of your team. Thank you so much for your wisdom, research and vision.

  8. Michael Vernon says:

    I notice questions posted don’t have answers. Since there are so many questions that would benefit from comment… How are these questions answered?

  9. Ginny says:

    I heard about this project on Krista Tippett’s podcast On Being. Thrilled to learn about it, as I have worked to save trees in our neighborhood for years. Homeowners have to get permission to take down trees, and you would be amazed and disappointed at the reasons!
    I’m looking forward to reading your book, filling me with new wisdom to share with the community.
    Many thanks to the team and funders for making this work possible.

  10. Jody says:

    I have just finished your inspiring book on the Wisdom of the Forest and the Mother Trees, and would like to know more about the Northern California Redwood Mother Trees and how to best steward and prepare for climate change. I have lived on 127 acres of TPZ (Timber Production Zone in Santa Cruz Mts) for 20 years educating folks on the beauty and wisdom of the Natural World and in particular, the Mother Trees. I am ready for the next step in transforming the cultural narrative around carbon sequestering, and protecting our forests. Many thanks for your team and your continued research from Earth Matters. We look forward to hearing you at Bioneers this fall.

  11. Meredith Miskowich says:

    My first experience with community action to save trees was in Topanga, CA. The county sent notices that extensive tree trimming and/or removal was about to begin in Topanga Canyon. I have always been attached to trees, even as a youngster, and I knew the damage the government tree trimming does to trees and the areas where trees live. We successfully stopped the “topping” of our trees in the Canyon. Several years ago I moved to northeastern Ohio. In the Spring, there is an annual Maple Sugar Tour of local syrup producers. My husband and I visited one within 2 miles of our house. We spent over an hour talking with the farmer; it was fascinating. One of my questions was “How do you know how many taps to put into a tree so that you take enough for yourself but leave enough sap for the tree to survive and thrive?” His answer floored me. He said that he taps local trees on private property with permission. He emptied his buckets every day so the sap would not sour, being much like milk. One tree always had overflowing buckets with sap. When he visited the tree one year, there was a lumberman choosing trees for lumber the next year. He said this particular tree would be taken. The farmer decided to put more taps into the tree to see just how much sap it would give. When he came back the next day, all the buckets were empty. “That tree knew it was going to die,” he told me. Goosebumps covered my body at the time and now, having read “Finding the Mother Tree,” I know why. She was going to send her lifeblood to her kin.

  12. Toby DuPlayee says:

    I really loved the book. I was wondering if anyone is studying forest recovery from a tornado. Our 12 acres was hit really hard back in July and we dont want to clearcut. I would love any input on how best to help the forest recover. Thanks

  13. Dr. Lena Measures says:

    Enjoyed Finding the Mother Tree. Just started reading The Golden Spruce. Working with my municipality in Quebec who is updating their urbanism plan. I live in the Laurentians which still has natural areas with many trees, mostly secondary growth but, as elsewhere, there is far too much development as people are leaving the cities, such as Montreal, for the countryside where some want to build monster homes and cut the trees to do so. Developers need to be restrained by municipalities. Preserving forest cover and soils, including old growth trees, protecting water courses and wetlands, reducing noise and light pollution and erosion and protecting biodiversity and natural areas are key goals. One must work with local municipalities, being positive rather than highly negative and provide suggestions and support to meet these goals which many people who move here cherish. Being a retired scientist my expertise is more with wildlife, not trees per se, but wildlife needs habitat which includes all forms of flora including trees. Dr. Simard’s work has enlightened me that cooperation amongst trees exists and benefits local ecosystems. Work with local NGOs and your municipalities and regional governments to effect change in how forests and our environment is “managed” for future generations.

  14. Solveig says:

    Thank you for your steadfast work in behalf of trees and humanity. ( Most humans don’t even understand why trees may save us.) Just last night (on TV) I saw how in Africa, where water is nearly non existent, the last pines on cliffs were cut down on cliffs by loggers repelling to cut them. They said they drink too much water! Then they show the vast, deforested lands… How ingnorant can humans get? This imagine will be with me a while.
    Thank you again for your book. The loving way you wrote about the forest and all that is alive in it; your family and your journey. I am grateful. You give me hope. I live in a forest but now I see so much more.

  15. Carol Diamond says:

    My father was a paper salesman who loved trees and passed that love on to me. When I write about trees I usually mention his occupation and that I understand that some logging needs to be done. I think he would agree with your views. Thank you so much for your work, courage, and persistence. I am not a scientist but I read quite a bit of nonfiction, especially about trees, forests, animals, and the rest of nature. I’m finding that most of my favorite science authors respect Indigenous ways. Thank you for sharing that too, along with your love for all beings.

  16. Denis Palmer says:

    I too just finished your fine book last night. It’s truly an inspiration. I live in a small community in the Eastern Townships of southern Quebec where there is always some forestry activity going on. Hearing a chainsaw doesn’t bother me much but seeing a feller-buncher in the neighbourhood gives me cause for concern. I like to draw and paint and for years I would make a sketching trip north – Chibougamau, Parc LaVerendrye, James Bay. For some reason I was drawn to the clearcuts. I guess it was an urge to witness how the forest was being treated and the news wasn’t good. I haven’t been north now for 8 or 10 years so I dare not imagine how things may have changed. But now I draw living trees, living forest – young and old. Survivors in habitats still healthy, at least to my eye. I thank you so very much for the work you have done and still do, and I wish you good health in your pursuits. Denis Palmer, Randboro, Qc.

  17. Diane M Johnson says:

    I have developed such a passion for trees after reading Dr.Simard’s Book and other great books about Champion trees and fungi, I am preparing to present to UC Cincinnati this Spring about global Champions and Mother Trees with the hope I can encourage my adult class to join the tree planters and care takers of tomorrow’s forests. I do plan on having them plant in class

  18. dorothy shattuck says:

    Many years ago n my sixties, I traveled to New Zealand’s South Island, and signed up for a tree medicine class with a Maori elder. I was the only participant but never felt fear of being alone in the forest with a stranger, and a man…..the fear would have blinded me to wisdom he shared with me.. He introduced me to the Grandmother Tree, and I felt a soft glow, or more breath, not sure how to describe it.
    Trees have always been my inspiration, my solace. I live in coastal southeastern Massachusetts, mostly second growth forest, and ache to visit Old Growth Forests and now see there is a website!
    Thank you Dr. Simard for your discoveries and advocacy of the essential role of trees for our survival. I look forward to learning what I can do to join this advocacy.

  19. Dianne Plantamura says:

    Thank you Dr Simard for your bravery in the face of male dominated forestry. With many others I have been working here in Massachusetts for legislation to ban biomass. I cannot believe these foresters believe that burning wood is alternative energy. We all have work to do but I feel hopeful knowing there are visionaries like you.

  20. Danuta Valleau says:

    I am a member of a group that offers customized workshops to community groups on how to talk about climate change. During COVID lockdown in Ontario, we ran a virtual book club with 4 selected books. Finding the Mother Tree was the last in the series. The response to the positive and urgent messages and solutions in your story was strong.

  21. Madeleine says:

    I live in the centre of London GB so no forests, but I wonder whether the mother tree system operates in the many little parks with trees scattered around the edges, or in the long wide roads of plane trees. Has anyone here done similar work to yours?

  22. Nick Taylor says:

    Finding the Mother Tree is wonderful! So much to learn and to do. It left me wondering whether any research has been done along similar lines but for orchards. Here in the UK we have some old orchards and many new so there’s plenty of research opportunities!

  23. Janet says:

    Today I finished reading Finding the Mother Tree and headed out in the afternoon rain to a small forest I walked everyday from the beginning of Covid. It always just felt good to be there. The trees were a gentle visual blanket of green. But today was different. There was a fir – a big one and at the edge of her canopy a healthy looking straight fir youngster and not far away a young adult fir. There were lots of cedars mixed with maples and alders. I counted in the whole forest there were only 6 firs and the first one I had encounter was the biggest by a longshot. Over a thousand times I have walked by that tree and I never knew until today that I was in the presence of a mother tree. My eyes are open and there is no closing them. Thank you so much.

  24. Jeff moore says:

    Dr. Simard,
    I loved your book. I’m a fish biologist that has dealt with upland spawning habitat health, and live on a fir/ spruce/larch forest at 5000 ft in NE Oregon. Do you have and research ( or an intuitive answer) that looks at whether the fungal network is still active under the snow cover during winter on a rather dry forest? Is it a time of pause for nutrient transfer or a time of nutrient reallocation prior to spring. Are the mother trees loading the roots of the saplings to be ready for the growing season? or just resting?
    thank you for continuing to dig.

  25. herveline joffredo says:

    Thank youSuzanne Simard for your magnifiscent research work on canadian trees and forests .I have reed your book about the mother tree and i was walking with you in the big forests . I admire your tenacity. You followed your intuition and workedaccording to very specific researcher criteria . Your nature is shy and you have learned to express yourself in front of professionnal foresters BRAVO Bravo ,bravo Your work isa wonderfull gift for the future generations and for all the peaple around the world gratitude for the earth Herveline

  26. Liz says:

    I haven’t read the book yet, but am a student of the Soil Food Web (Dr. Elaine Ingham), so I have some background knowledge of these connections. A colleague forwarded the Washington Post article on your research project. Wondering if you have a working group in New England (specifically Vermont) – I would like to learn more and get involved. Will be getting the book shortly!

  27. Cyril "CJ" May says:

    I enjoyed listing to FtMT on during my 45 minute commutes. Prof Simard is quite a good reader and the book reads a bit like a “mystery” as she slowly finds answers to her questions over her career despite opposition from roadblocking-status quo foresters. I highly recommend the audio book!

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