Talking Trees: Starting a Conversation

James Cameron: pre-empting scientific breakthroughs since 2009.

30 SECOND VERSION

SeaPigs know all about how important it is to Love Our Tiny Blue Dot - and while we have a love for the ocean as deep as the Pacific, we know that the plastic floating about the seven seas is not the only pressing issue that there is. At SeaPigs we use Natural Cork and Natural Rubber in our products because they are carbon neutral, in fact the large environmentally friendly trees soak up way more carbon than they produce and are perfect for footwear. Trees are also under threat, and a riveting new documentary we liked by David Suzuki entitled ‘What Trees Talk About’ investigated brand new research about our trees and just how intelligent they make actually be. Read on to see what our takeaways from this show were.

5 MINUTE VERSION

Humanity is often all too quick to forget that plants are alive simply because they don’t have faces or limbs. Sure, they grow, but in the obvious sense, they don’t really seem to be that ‘alive’ to us - perhaps why we’re so nonchalant about chopping them up for our personal use. However, as the documentary ‘What Trees Talk About’ shows, there is actually a great deal more to the wooden giants than we first realised, and just because they are not sentient in the way that we are, does not mean that they are not sentient at all.

David Suzuki takes his audience through the vast Canadian forest and makes it clear to us all that the trees of the forest actually communicate with one another, allying with one another when the elements pose a threat, and even making friends with local animals. We’ve all seen on nature documentaries before when a family of monkeys have a nice tree that they prefer - whoever could have anticipated that the tree might actually prefer the monkey right back?

What do you think this one’s name is?

What do you think this one’s name is?

The Canadian climate - involving the vast rise and fall in temperature across the seasons - demands much of the trees, and so they rely on one another to help each other get through by transferring energy between one another through their roots in the soil. It turns out the forest is as much of a community as the inhabitants that reside within it. Sometimes the trees even team up to starve out creatures like squirrels that are having an effect on the tree’s reproductive processes - they produce less cones one year to starve red squirrels out, and the next year overproduce in order to create more cones than the creatures could ever hope to consume or put away.

The boreal trees also create their own air conditioning for themselves - that fresh pine cone smell we are all so used to. Apparently this iconic scent has a purpose for the trees that make it. These chemicals also enter the atmosphere and somewhat - though by no means totally - have an impact on the weather. The trees are affecting the entire food chain - their nutritious leaves fall into lakes and ponds, feeding fish and other pond life and generally making lakes ecosystems stronger - whether they intend to do so or not.

Who would have thought trees were capable of strategy?

Who would have thought trees were capable of strategy?

Imaginably, all of this raises some major questions about what this means for the world as a whole if all of a sudden every plant turns out to be much closer to ‘being alive’ in the traditional sense than we thought they were. It also complicates things when we search for life on extraterrestrial worlds - are we pouring a great deal of money into searching for the wrong kind of intelligent life? If fauna can be so personable on earth, then surely it can be on some distant moon of Jupiter’s? The idea of all of nature communicating seems like an elaborate idea of science fiction - heck, it’s the plot of the movie Avatar - and who could ever have guessed that such apparently obscene ideas may actually be quite a reality. Only further investigation can make any of this certain, but we must be open minded and willing to accept any and all research on the topic that may come to light.

At SeaPigs we don’t want to cause more harm than necessary to the environment, and while we Love Our Tiny Blue Dot, we haven’t forgotten about how important the green bits are too! We want to minimise our footprint on the environment, which is what inspired the SeaPigs guarantee - if we make it, we take it back. This way we can reduce the amount of natural produce we use. For more information, read the dedicated blog on the SeaPigs guarantee.

Over and snout,

SeaPigs

Oink oink!