Mother Tree

“A tree can be only as strong as the forest that surrounds it.”
― Peter Wohlleben, The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate 

The Mother Tree

If you’ve ever been to the 1440 campus, then you truly understand the amazing communal love for the majestic redwoods that cover our campus.

In addition to their physical presence that awes all of us, the presence of the redwoods is integrated into the very structures that sit beneath their beautiful boughs. Our largest auditorium is named Redwood, and the deck outside was actually built around the trees that were there first. And all the windows and doors that line Redwood allow for sublime glimpses of the forest all around.

Step off that deck and head down the stairs further into the woods (oh, it smells so good!) and you’re going to find something else quite special: the Mother Tree of 1440.

This one specific redwood is the beginning of the grove it’s surrounded by. Experts say the Mother Tree is around 1200 years old. She shades the amphitheater that we call Cathedral – it’s a quiet place perfect for solitude, journaling, meditation, or a pleasant conversation with new friends.

She’s Actually Working

The Mother Tree is thought of as the hub of the community that it grows in. She provides water and nutrients through fungal networks in the soil … and she’s actually “talking” with the other trees.

Scientists discovered that these underground fungal networks, known as mycorrhizal networks, aren’t only used to dispense food but also allow the trees to communicate with one another. These networks can be used to warn other trees about threats that might be incoming such as drought, insects, or disease.

In The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate, author Peter Wohlleben writes:

We have learned that mother trees recognize and talk with their kin, shaping future generations. In addition, injured trees pass their legacies on to their neighbors, affecting gene regulation, defense chemistry, and resilience in the forest community.

Like humans, trees need more than food and water to thrive. Their communities and networks are vastly important to the survival of their collective – and this is where a mother tree plays such a key role.

We like to think that these lessons of passing resilience to our neighbors and our kin are not only present in the narratives and science around the 1440 trees but in the very work done at 1440. Whether you’re in a webinar, a program, or enjoying a little reflective time, you’re part of a community of like-hearted people looking to help and sustain each other, passing passion and resilience through the network (in-person or virtual), and cultivating each of the 1,440 minutes in a day – just like the Mother Tree and her grove of redwoods.

In the vicinity of the 1440 Mother Tree, you’ll find a sign with this inscription:

The Mother Tree: For more than 1,000 years, the Mother Tree – elder of this cathedral – has filtered nutrients and wisdom to the younger trees. Through underground root systems, she hosts conversations that increase the resilience of her entire community and remind us of our interconnectedness and shared resources. 

 

8 Comments

  1. Dee Hayes on May 10, 2020 at 8:45 am

    Lovely! 🌲
    Happy Mother’s Day to all beings!



  2. Gayle on May 10, 2020 at 10:07 am

    Very nice, thanks. I’ve enjoyed spending long moments with this ancient beauty.



  3. Tricia Korade on May 10, 2020 at 10:48 am

    Would be great to see a picture !



  4. cindy monten on May 10, 2020 at 11:03 am

    I spent 2 weeks at 1440 last summer and can’t wait to return. 1 discovered The Mother Tree on my first visit and can vividly recall the amazing energy that filled me the first time I laid my hands on her. I had many deep conversations with her during my stays at 1440. Visiting her was the firs thing I did the morning of my birthday. I had someone take a picture of just my hands on her trunk- I use that image on my reiki & energy work, marketing materials. I miss you so very much 1440

    Wishing Everyone Well in during the Great Awakening,
    Love,
    Cindy Monten



  5. Dr. Sandra Dreisbach on May 10, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    Happy Mother’s Day mother tree!!! 🌲



  6. Terri-Sue Hill on May 10, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    🌲This is a wonderful post! I have been researching and writing a children’s book on trees (off and on) for a few years now. I have visited 1440 and stayed there for a weekend workshop. I took several walks around the grounds. This brings to life not only the research I have done, it allowed me to recall and imagine revisiting your beautiful retreat center! Thank you!😌🙏🏽❤️



  7. Karen A Marsack on May 10, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    I love trees and this is a lovely post. But everyone is always cutting trees down. Information on them needs to get to everyone.



  8. Margaret Cabral on May 11, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    On New Year’s Day 2020, my husband and I were walking in the redwood forest at 1440, having spent the previous night there.
    When we found the “Mother Tree”, i went to place my hand on her but as my hand came close, like a magnet pulling, I immediately felt compelled to not just touch her but to wrap my arms around her, and so I did that.
    What happened immediately was that I felt the overwhelming embrace of unconditional love of the Divine Mother.
    I just stood there continuing to be embraced by this intense stream of unconditional Mother love.
    Streams of tears rolled down my face. My husband didn’t know what was going on. I had to explain to him that I was fine.
    It felt like 10 minutes that I just kept standing there hugging this tree which was a conduit for the unconditional love of Divine Mother energy.
    Thank you 1440, for continuing to protect and nourish this tree.