How Trees Can Teach You About Connecting Better With Others

Living things often have similar experiences to us but can also give us lessons that we ought to listen to if we want to grow as people

Dr. Conor Hogan Ph.D.
4 min readDec 21, 2021
Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

A tree is life.

Now I know that’s not such a huge statement to make but for me every time I look at a tree it’s like looking in the mirror from one year to the next.

For although I recognize my face like no other and I`m sure you do yours, looking in a mirror regularly over time gives us a deeper appreciation of what’s shown on it from one year to the next. That’s where slight changes in our facial skin can be recognized and show us how we are being altered by this thing that we all call life.

And for a tree, it’s not much different as it too has its type of skin in its bark.

For if you have a tree growing by where you live, near your school, college, or workplace, or where you get out and about regularly too you`ll know over the years that it too is experiencing life for as long as you are. And most trees’ experiences mean that their bark thickens and develops inside the first year. A tree’s bark is there to fend off attacks from outsiders, and infections that may occur but it senses things too that allow its organism to adapt to the external realities of its environment.

Regarding trees’ barks, it’s interesting that recent evidence now shows that trees that are located in fire-prone areas have barks that grow thicker beyond the first year of existence. Scientists believe that this may suggest that these are the trees that will be able to survive hotter climates that are predicted on our planet in years to come.

This is curious information for us because we know as humans that our skins do more than protect us physically from the outside world and its altering stimuli.

For we often hear of how having a thicker skin is beneficial to how we can avoid caring about insults and people talking behind our back. It’s when the heat is on in life and we feel under pressure we often feel threatened. And we can see this when a person’s skin tightens as they press their lips or squeeze their hands which communicates they are bracing themselves for some form of unwelcome challenge.

But if you can live by trees and see this likeness of their existence within you then you`ll begin to see how you can improve to manage threats as they do with other living things in mind.

Photo by Andrew Charney on Unsplash

Because I`m fortunate to live around so many trees and I notice their behavior. But they also notice mine. Not that they have eyes and ears or anything although I do believe they have a sense of what’s going on around them.

Can I prove that?

Not fully but there is compelling scientific evidence out there to suggest they do communicate with other trees and plants. And if they can communicate then surely they must sense what’s going on around them. After all, how else do so many trees avoid growing in another tree’s space once they grow above ground level?

For me, the answer is there is an innate intelligence there that much of traditional science has not discovered yet.

But then again that’s a lot like us humans.

For even we who are consumed by human behavior do not have the answers to why every person behaves in a certain way at a certain time of their life so we settle on acceptance for now until we can prove what our gut is telling us about another. Still too often we know when another person is behaving badly and it irritates us and makes us ask questions of them as to why they are the way they are. Still, there is no guarantee that even if we get their answers it will explain their peculiarity.

From there we sometimes can’t bear to look at them and cast our gaze away and for we who live by trees our eyes will often look to the freedom of a window which views show us the constant presence of our neighboring trees. And as we wonder why others behave the way they do perhaps the answer is within the wisdom of a tree that stares right back at us.

It’s at times like that that if we`re attentive enough we’ll notice that the tree never moves from its original spot but no matter what odd or unwelcoming behavior that’s around it, it will still change and grow.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Whereas instead we humans get fidgety and move around a lot and often hate the notion of change and stop ourselves from growing.

So maybe that’s a thing we need to learn from our friends the trees?

That no matter what, we need to be more accepting of other living things around us and keep rooted in our presence whilst still being determined to grow in an upward direction without taking too much space from around us.



Dr. Conor Hogan Ph.D.

Forbes, INC. & Entrepreneur Magazines, CBS, & NBC Featured, Dr. Conor Is The No. 1 Best Selling Author of The Gym Upstairs