The Mother Tree Project was conceived following three decades of research on tree connections within forests by Dr. Suzanne Simard in British Columbia and researchers in other parts of the world.

The project was launched with the intent of exploring how connections and communication between trees, particularly below-ground connections between Douglas-fir Mother Trees and seedlings, could influence forest recovery and resilience following various harvesting and regeneration treatments.

The project was designed to explore these relationships across different climates, in order to understand how climate change could influence these processes and affect the outcomes of the treatments.

Historical photos of Dr. Suzanne Simard and Jean Roach

Dr. Suzanne Simard (left) in the field in 1980 and Jean Roach (right) in the field in 1987.


  • 1997 – The journal Nature publishes an article by Dr. Simard which introduces the term “Wood Wide Web”
  • 2015 –  Dr. Simard and her team receive an NSERC Strategic Project Grant for the Mother Tree Project – Designing Successful Forest Renewal Practices for Our Changing Climate
  • 2016 – Dr. Simard gives a TED Talk “How trees talk to each other” at TED Conference
  • 2016-2017 – The Mother Tree Project establishes experimental sites in nine climatic regions across British Columbia
  • 2017 – The Mother Tree Project receives a grant from the FESBC – Innovative Forest Harvesting and Renewal Treatments across the Climatic Range of Douglas-fir 
  • 2017-2018 – The Mother Tree Project establishes 120 National Forest Inventory (NFI) plots across the network of sites and pre-logging measurements and sampling are carried out in these plots
  • 2018-2019 – Logging and planting begins at the experimental sites
  • 2018-2019 – Sampling and re-measuring of NFI plots occurs following logging
  • 2019 – The Mother Tree Project receives an FCI grant for further post-logging carbon and regeneration measurements at the project sites