Friday, 17 May 2019


A few years ago I was at an event in Rochester, Kent where a guy had attached sensors or microphones to trees and there were headphones dangling down so you could listen to the inner sounds they make.

On some recent dog walks in the Forest I decided to just put my ear against trees and see if I could hear anything.  Wow! yes there are all sorts of noises going on in there and it’s FREE.

Oak isn’t good with this technique as the bark is too rough and you need good contact with your ear and also with the side of your head.  So the smooth barked Beech, Birch and Hornbeam are good.   Old or injured trees seem quiet whereas vigorous youngish trees around eight inches to a foot make quite a racket. Also may be sluggish early in the day as it warms up and the crown is in the sunshine.

Jack's Hill Epping Forest

Some of the sounds are like human peristalis, laboured breathing, washing machine on wash cycle, toilet flushing, drip drip noise, banging on pipes, steam train, low foghorn, hooting and plenty of gurglings, poppings and squeaking.

I think the time of day is quite important also, possibly, whether it’s rained recently or if it’s warm, cool, overcast or windy.  Also check the trunk for ants as I got an earful the other day.

Try it and see if the Trees tell you anything!

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