Finding the Mother Tree was offered by the publisher via Netgalley. I’m very grateful to them for a chance to review the book. It was published on 4th May, but I only got it a couple of days before. I’m catching up as part of #30DaysWild.

Reading this also got me to my target for the year for my Non-Fiction Adventure reading challenge. Given my current mood for fact over fiction, I could do another five in the second half of the year!

finding the mother tree

Finding the Mother Tree: Uncovering the Wisdom and Intelligence of the Forest

By Suzanne Simard

A world-leading expert shares her amazing story of discovering the communication that exists between trees, and shares her own story of family and grief. 

Dr. Suzanne Simard was born and raised in the rainforests of British Columbia and has forged a lifelong relationship of love and respect with the trees. This relationship was the driving force behind her decision to dedicate her life to better understanding the forest and the network that connects the plant life within.

With humour, emotion, and the narrative drive of a lifelong storyteller, Dr. Simard takes readers on an intimate journey of groundbreaking scientific discovery. Linking her research to her personal experiences, she recounts her life’s work uncovering the Wood Wide Web, the underground mycelium network that connects all the trees and plants within a forest. It is a network that allows them to share not only nutrients, but information, all of which originates from the hubs called Mother Trees.

[…] Dramatic, funny, touching, and evocative, Finding the Mother Tree offers an intimate and personal look at discovery. This book is not about how we can save the trees, but about how the trees might actually save us. [goodreads]

My Review

Most gardeners will have heard the words mycorrhizal fungi from time to time over the last few years, especially in relation to planting new trees or large shrubs. I had, and didn’t know what fad this was or where it had come from. Thanks to Suzanne’s ground-breaking work (literally, at times) on the forests of Canada, and Sir David Read’s work on plant symbiosis in English meadows, this has become a ‘thing’. More than just helping plants and trees grow; the fungi help trees communicate. Had I heard that when I put sentient trees in my books? I don’t think so. I certainly didn’t envisage what Suzanne Simard did, when she dug in the dirt as a kid and found fungal strands at the base of all the healthy trees around her.

This powerful book, Finding the Mother Tree, sees Prof Simard recall her childhood and the people who influenced her, rooted in the forests of British Columbia. It’s a charming look at a really rough world. People get hurt, regularly, and shrug it off as part of daily life. Suzanne had to be tough to go into the forestry world. Especially when all her senses and upbringing told her what was happening, the Government’s plans for clear-felling and erasing native flora, was wrong, wrong, wrong. Her journey into research and more research, and her doctorate, and her subsequent run-ins with the local forestry law-enforcers, makes engrossing reading. Especially for anyone trying to influence wrong-headed policy makers.

It is also a step-by-step guide to making robust research plans, and to the thought process necessary to see through the data into the connections. To eliminate the impossible, and understand what you have left. At times it is a little heavy handed, and occasionally I was convinced she was repeating herself. But that can be forgiven.

Finding the Mother Tree is an excellent guide to why and how the trees in the world are connected, how Suzanne Simard discovered it, and what we should be doing to give them the best chance of saving us from ourselves. I feel richer for the experience.

Book Review | Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard: 'excellent guide to why and how the trees in the world are connected… and how to give them the best chance of saving us from ourselves. I feel richer for the experience.'… Click To Tweet

Book Review | Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard #30DaysWild

2 thoughts on “Book Review | Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard #30DaysWild

  • 26 June, 2021 at 5:54 pm
    Permalink

    Definitely one to add to my TBR pile.

    Reply
    • 26 June, 2021 at 5:59 pm
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      And by the time the library copy comes in about 3-4 months, I’ll have forgotten what this was about!

      Reply

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