Currently the Biology field is heavily influenced by genetic engineering and DNA based research. Funding and equipment is often used to define plants based on DNA in the cladistics taxonomy that views DNA manipulation as a part of (human influenced) evolution, in other words, the science field is becoming an "intellectual property rights" grab for the medicinal plants of the rainforest, where DNA info is patented and recorded on a computer..
Scientific method is flawed at the core in that it relies on rationalism and proof of existence in order to believe anything. The belief among many indigenous people of plants, trees, animals and people having spirits or souls is rejected by scientific establishment only on lack of proof. If it cannot be tested by scientific research equipment (human/factory made machinery), then it cannot possibly be real. If anyone claims that plant/tree spirits communicate with them they are dismissed as "mentally ill" by scientists who cannot and will not see beyond their rationalist box..
The reasoning behind the scientific lack of belief in anything spiritual could involve a separation of morality from research. If a scientist is called upon by the research corporation to inject a primate/lab rat with dangerous chemicals, the scientist is mentally free from the belief in animal spirits or sentient thoughts/emotions. The primate/lab rat becomes another pile of cells that are more robot-like than human. This same scientist rationalizes that their loved ones are somehow different from this non-feeling primate/lab rat, so it is ok to test on the animal to "benefit" the human. Though most of the benefits are absorbed by the pharmacuetical corporations who claim their petrochemically derived products heal people, while other healing energies like love, meditation and nutrition are not considered by corporate statisticians..
Most of science (organic chemistry) is currently about molecular manipulation of plant chemicals in pharmaceutical products isolated from these plant biochemicals found in their tissues. Do the researchers who take this information ever ask the plant about how it feels to have this medicinal compound synthesized from it? Any shaman would laugh at the foolishness of these pharmaceutical researchers who use toxic petroleum residue to attempt to mimic the molecular formulae of plant tissue biochemicals..
People can approach the plants/trees/animals/fungi/etc from a holistic perspective where we appreciate biodiversity without thinking we need to control life via molecular manipulation with machinery. Genetic engineering does not recognize the spirit of the plant, it only dissects the living being down to it's basic life material and then toys with it like some nightmarish video game. The disrespect shown to life, Nature and Mother Earth by corporate scientists is obvious by their arrogance in dealing with sentient beings, and the increased risk of famine in human populations (dependent on GE monoculture) from their tampering with Nature..