Each tree has its own ‘gut bacteria’, a symbiotic relationship with a fungus that enables it to access resources from the soil it couldn’t reach on its own. Without this, trees simply wouldn’t survive. We also discovered that, instead of a forest being a case of survival of the fittest, it’s a community of living plants with a shared interest in a thriving ecosystem. Trees support their neighbours by talking to each other. This ‘wood wide web’ is a powerful network of electrical and chemical signals that communicates between species. For example, a large oak could warn a sapling sycamore that it’s under attack from pests, giving it time to produce a chemical in its leaves that makes them bitter and toxic. Rather than a battle for resources, it’s a brilliant collective designed to ensure the whole woodland survives.