What sound does a tree make inside? 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 mixing with air as it is pulled 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’.



The workshops provide 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.


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, where I come and be with the installation on a daily basis to talk to the public and explain all about the hidden moment 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 a live sound from the tree.

£40,000 approx