A Year-End Message from Suzanne Simard

My life has been a continuous, delightful discovery of the complexity and intentionality of trees. The more I learn, the more I recognize trees are an essential partner not only in our survival as a species, but also in our education, our socialization, and our cultivation of wisdom. 

Trees have taught me far more than I could ever convey in academic journals. My personal life, my perspective on society and relationships, and my health have all been blessed by the wisdom trees have to offer.

The societies in which trees live are complex and vibrant. Trees are, in many ways, a model of health for which we should strive. 

Trees value and thrive in diversity. Contrary to the competitive assumptions many of us were taught about plant life, trees support each other, and in many cases are at their healthiest when caring for others. They provide each other with protection and nutrients, and they support their kin without engaging in competitive tribalism. Trees can teach us about reproduction and death, resilience and dependency, about the value of rapid response, and the value of steady, sustainable communal growth within an finite ecosystem. 

But this wisdom, beauty, and partnership are all at risk. It is more important than ever that Canopy achieve their goal of protecting at least 30-50% of the world’s forests by 2030. Failure is simply not an option we can afford.

Trees cycle our water, they clean our air, they house carbon, and forests harbor 80% of our world’s biodiversity. They protect us. 

Canopy’s work is about protecting the protectors. If Canopy succeeds in achieving their vision, the effects would be felt far beyond the forests. Exploiting trees undercuts our ability to benefit from them. We are harming trees by treating them with disrespect, but we are also very seriously harming ourselves. If we can heal our relationship with nature, if we can engage in the mutual respect we were designed to have with the forest, we can address the most urgent and vast environmental problems that threaten us. 

Will you join me now in supporting this essential work?

Canopy’s work is about saving trees. If they succeed, we can rest assured the trees will save us. 

Thank you for being part of this work. 

Most sincerely,

Suzanne

Dr. Suzanne Simard is best known for her ground-breaking work on how trees interact and communicate with each other using vast underground fungal networks. Her research and work with her students led to the recognition that forests have Mother Trees, highly connected hub trees that share resources with understory seedlings. These tree networks can enhance regeneration, support biodiversity, and conserve carbon.