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2023 Top Twelve!


Nonfiction Review!

M. Graykin

Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the wisdom of the forest by Suzanne Simard 

If this book managed to slip by you when it first came out in 2021, do take a look at it now.  It’s part biography and part journey of scientific exploration.  Susan Simard was employed by a logging company to monitor the replanting of harvested trees.  She was puzzled by the lack of success with the new trees, chosen for commercial profitability, while young natives thrived.  That led to the discovery that while the roots of the new trees were bare, native seedlings had roots encased in fungus.  Far from sickening the seedlings, it seemed to be the key to their health.

Simard’s upbringing in the rain forests of British Columbia, cataloging trees as a child, gave her a deep appreciation for the forest and its leafy denizens.  She reflects back on her childhood while describing the work which became her passion, exploring the marvelous, complex relationships of forest ecology of which mycelium is the key.  Trees are not merely resources to be exploited, they are part of interdependent ecosystem critical to the health of the forest.