What if, instead of competing with each other as foresters have long thought, trees actually assist each other by passing water and nutrients back and forth? What if they even communicate? Renowned forest ecologist Suzanne Simard has spent her life digging into the “wood wide web”— the mycorrhizal network of fungi and roots through which trees share resources and information. Her work has transformed the way we understand forests and inspired everything from the Tree of Souls in the blockbuster movie “Avatar” to the scientist character in the Pulitzer-winning novel “The Overstory.”

“Timber Wars” host Aaron Scott talked with Simard about her new book, “Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest,” for her book launch at Powell’s Books. Prepare to have the way you view forests and trees flipped on its head.

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Related: Listen to OPB's podcast "Timber Wars" to learn more about the paradigm shift in how we see forests.

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Listen: ‘Timber Wars,’ a new podcast from OPB

OPB's seven-episode podcast "Timber Wars" tells the story of how a small group of activists and scientists turned a fight over ancient trees and the spotted owl into one of the biggest environmental conflicts of the 20th century, and in the process redefined the very way we see—and fight over—the natural world.