Bough – Wow! Tree Talk!!

I confess I am a Lord of the Rings fan, however great a fantasy epic it is! Life is but dull and drab without a little or even a lot of fantasizing. I loved watching the Ents of J R Tolkiens’ Middle Earth, particularly Tree Beard, the grand old man of Tolkein’s world. Ents bear close resemblance to trees and are able to talk in the book and the movie.  

I have always wondered – what would trees tell us, if we get to understand their mode of communication? Sure enough they would harp on the mindless destruction of forests, including that of pristine rain forests, the lungs of the world, and carp about man’s inordinately insatiable greed.

Long back in 1990, Jagdish Chandra Bose, the distinguished Indian scientist and a pioneer in Biophysics, announced an astonishing discovery. At an international conference of physicists in Paris, and later in England, Bose proved that plants respond to pain and stress much like humans. To prove his theory, Bose invented an instrument called the Resonate Recorder that was so sensitive it could record the subtlest of changes inside a plant.

“The telltale charts of my crescograph are evidence for the most sceptical that plants have a sensitive nervous system and a varied emotional life. Love, hate, joy, fear, pleasure, pain, excitability, stupor, and countless appropriate responses to stimuli are as universal in plants as in animals”, the great man is said to have told Paramahamsa Yogananda (The Autobiography of a Yogi – Chapter 8).

So much about plants and trees responding to stimuli! Tree Talk seems to be an interesting possibility going by an Associated Press dispatch quoted in the Science Frontiers #63, MAY-JUN1989 © 1989-2000 William R. Corliss which says:

“Grants Pass, Ore. (AP) – Physicist Ed Wagner says he has found evidence that trees talk to each other in a language he calls W-waves.
“If you chop into a tree, you can see that adjacent trees put out an electrical pulse,” said Wagner. “This indicates that they communicated directly.”
“Explaining the phenomenon, Wagner pointed to a blip on a strip chart recording of the electrical pulse.
“It put out a tremendous cry of alarm,” he said. “The adjacent trees put out smaller ones.”
“People have known there was communication between trees for several years, but they’ve explained it by the chemicals trees produce,” Wagner said.
“But I think the real communication is much quicker and more dramatic than that,” he said. “These trees know within a few seconds what is happening. This is an automatic response.”
“Wagner has measured the speed of W-waves at about 3 feet per second through the air.
“They travel much too slowly for electrical waves,” he said. “They seem to be an altogether different entity. That’s what makes them so intriguing. They don’t seem to be electromagnetic waves at all.”

(Anonymous; “Physicist Says Blip Proves Trees Talk,” Seattle Sun Times, February 12, 1989. Cr. R.L. Simmons)

A footnote goes on to say that in addition to the above discovery, Wagner, who holds a PhD in physics from the University of Tennessee, has detected electrical standing waves in trees. The voltage measured by electrodes implanted in trees goes up and down as one goes higher and higher up the trees. Interesting indeed!!

Coming back to what trees would communicate, Ilan Shamir, author & inspirational keynote speaker seems to have captured beautifully. His poem ‘Advice from a Tree’ is full of innate wisdom. These lines can truly teach us simple lessons to last this life time. Probably these would be what trees want to convey to us – Bough-Wow! Talk about Tree Talk!!!

Advice from a Tree 
By Ilan Shamir

Dear Friend,
Stand Tall and Proud
Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
Reflect the light of a greater source
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with joy the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The Energy and Birth of Spring
The Growth and Contentment of Summer
The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall
The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter
Feel the wind and the sun
And delight in their presence
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
And the mystery of the stars at night.
Seek nourishment from the good things in life
Simple pleasures
Earth, fresh air, light
Be content with your natural beauty
Drink plenty of water
Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
Be flexible
Remember your roots
Enjoy the view!

[Could not resist posting this beautiful You Tube video on this poem. Am sure you will enjoy it’s brilliant visuals and melodious music.]

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