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Have you ever thought what goes on behind the bark of a tree? The Tree Listening Project uses highly sensitive microphones to make audible the inner workings of trees. We hear the rumble of the tree moving and the popping of the water as it mixes with air on it's way  up through the Xylem tubes just behind the bark, the very life of the tree surging up from the roots towards the leaves.

The Tree Listening Project has two forms; The Tree Listening Device & The Tree Listening Installation.

The project aims to provide an experience that engages and inspires a keen interest in trees.

The Tree Listening Device.

The Tree Listening Installation.

The Tree Listening Device is the microphone developed to capture the 'hidden sounds' behind the bark. It allows the listener to hear the water, mixing with air, as it travels up through the xylem tubes. This happens as the leaves lose water through evaporation by the sun.

The Tree Listening Installation was developed from the invention of the Tree Listening Device in order to allow lots of people to listen to a specific tree all at the same time.


While listening to the headphones hanging from the branches you will hear the wonderful hidden sounds of the tree.

The Tree Listening Installation is a travelling, educational tool used to facilitate a deeper understanding of ‘how trees work’.



Workshops can be provided for school groups and give a stimulating environment in which to explore the ‘hidden sounds’ behind the bark. These activity-based workshops can consist of either; a short 30 minute overview or a morning/afternoon session exploring the transpiration process in greater detail.


Tree Listening Events in 2018


Fordingbridge, Hampshire, New Forest. April 2018

Fyfield Grange. Oxford. May 2018

Woodland Trust, Private Event, Devon. May 2018

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew at Wakehurst, Ardingly. May 2018

Countryside Days, Harrogate.  June 2018

Woodland Trust, Privet event, Epsom. June 2018

Woodland Trust, Privet event. June 2018

The Ash Project,  Folkestone. September 2018

British Science Festival, Hull. September 2018

St Nicks, York. September 2018

RHS Wisley, Surrey. October 2018

RHS Rosemoor, Devon. October 2018

Norwich Science Festival, Norwich. October 2018


Having the Tree Listening Installation at your location.


The Tree Listening Installation travels in three different formats:


A temporary installation, installed on a daily basis and accompanied by Alex Metcalf

£180 per day + 45p/mile travel + £80/day of travel time + Accommodation.

The temporary version - I will be with the installation on a daily basis to talk to the public and explain all about the hidden movements inside the tree.


A monthly installation, where the installation is self contained and solar powered playing a recording of the tree.

£1000 per month + 45p/mile travel + £80/day of travel time + Accommodation.


A permanent installation, with either a recorded or live sound from the tree.  £40,000 approx

© 2018  Alex Metcalf.   All rights reserved.