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No. 63: May-Jun 1989

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Trees talk in w-waves

We quote below from as Associated Press dispatch:

"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)

Comment. 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. Wagner's work has been published in Northwest Science, but we have not yet seen it. Incidentally, electricity does seem to affect plant growth, as described in our handbook: Incredible Life. For a description of this book, visit: here.

From Science Frontiers #63, MAY-JUN 1989. 1989-2000 William R. Corliss