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Global Tree Monitoring Network

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Tree Research Phase 2 with Sensor

Global Tree Monitoring Network

Tree Research Project: Phase 2

Something about trees. … a walk in the forest, the spiritual experience of planting a tree, settling down against just about any kind of tree with book in hand. Can these "other beings" sense how humans feel about them? Do trees feel and are they affected by our emotions?

When the HeartMath Research Center launched its tree research project last year, we asked the question, "Why are we so in awe of the old oak and the ancient redwood?" In 2017, we will further explore the mysteries of trees in Phase II of what is now called the Global Tree Monitoring Network. We will expand the number and types of trees and varieties we monitor.

In Phase II, scientists will increase the current half-dozen redwood and oak trees being monitored by an additional 20 trees in the forest around the HeartMath Institute Research Center in the Boulder Creek area of Central California. Among these will be weeping willows, Douglas fir, yucca, madrone, and fruit trees such as apple, orange, pear and persimmon.

Tree Research Phase 2

In Phase I of this project, which is part of HeartMath Institute’s (HMI) overall interconnectivity research, scientists monitored a half-dozen redwood trees in a grove. To do this, they had to create and test new equipment and software for efficiently and simultaneously measuring tree potentials from multiple trees and develop a way of sending the data to a lab. This preparation work for Phase II included developing low-power-use tree-potential amplifiers, tree electrodes, a data-acquisition system and a communication system.

Redwood Tree Monitor Sensor

What We Know Now

Based on observations of oak and redwood trees in different locations of HMI’s California research center, researchers have learned the following:

  • Trees, like humans, have a circadian or day-night rhythm.
  • Trees can elicit positive feeling states in humans.
  • Tree have complex and different overall electrical voltage patterns, almost as if each has its own personality.

Read more about Phase 1: Interconnectivity Tree Research Project.

What We Will Explore

  • Do the electrical responses in multiple trees correlate to events that trigger an emotional outpouring in large numbers of people?
  • Do trees communicate energetically with each other over large distances?
  • Are trees affected by human emotions?
  • Does being in the biofields of trees have an uplifting effect on people?
  • Can trees help inform us about approaching earthquakes?

Benefits of HMI Tree Research

  • Provides a deeper understanding of how people and trees are connected.
  • Collects information about how trees respond generally to human emotions and specifically to positive human emotions.
  • Gathers important data that may aid in prediction of earthquakes – and saving lives.
  • Eventually will establish a global network of tree-monitoring sites and a website with live data from a redwood grove.

† When all equipment and systems are in place, our website will display data from all monitored trees, marking the launch of what will be the Citizen Scientist-Based Tree Project in which anyone can participate.

Global Tree Monitoring Network: What’s next?

In the months ahead, researchers will expand and test the network, including monitoring an additional 20 trees at strategic locations in the redwood forest around the HeartMath Institute campus. They will collect data on multiple types of trees, such as key tree stressors: For example, how does location affect the same or different varieties of trees?

Two important next steps are developing communications protocol software and hardware to enable monitoring of many trees worldwide and creating a public website where anyone can see the data from all monitored trees.

Global Tree Potential Network Map

This broader scope in Phase II promises an array of interesting new data, which we will be able to collect by further developing communications protocol software and additional hardware.

Scientists will continue observing how temperature, light, gravitational pull on the earth and changes in its magnetic fields and other factors affect tree electrical potentials. We will keep you informed as we continue this fascinating journey.

Did you know, when you participate in HeartMath’s Monthly and Quarterly Giving program, you will receive a one-year membership.

We welcome your comments about the Global Tree Monitoring Network. Care to share a personal uplifting experience you or someone you know has had with trees.


  • Darlene Berges

    It is a very important research project on the trees, which building planners I hope will read and take care when they plan to cut trees to make places for more shopping malls.

  • Daggi Aeraki

    Since from very young childhood I have a strong,not rationally explainable, connection to trees ( more forrest trees – I grew up in Germany’s Black Forrest).Since 30 years live on the island of Crete (Greece),which is covered with thousands of olive groves among them also very old ones.On one of my doggywalks I discovered a very enchanted grove with not very old trees,but trees,which weren’t trimmed for a long time and their branches reached high up into the sky.This is unnusual,because normaly they get trimmed every other year.I fell in love with this grove immediatly and even named some of the olivetrees and greeted them every time I passed or spent some time amongst them.One spring day in 2016 I was shocked to see my friends butchered most brutally.I walked among them and sobbed and cried and couldn’t stop even on my way back home.I felt their pain so strong.There was mourning and sadness and resentment towards the unknown from me.I could not go to this place anymore for months.After a long very dry summer the first rainfalls finally blessed the land and fresh green appered everywhere.It was then,when I dared to pass ‘my’ grove.I needed to see them coming alive.All the other fields looked healthy and joyful,but mine.Not one single tiny little new leaf was showing.It rained plenty more and still nothing.I finally walked into the grove and greeted all with their name and hugged each of them and let go of my resentment.After one week the first fresh lightgreen shoots were showing.That was in February 2017.And now my friends stand strong and healthy with new branches.You may call me crazy,but I believe,my trees responded to my forgiving to the butcher and me reassurance of my love for each of them.

    • Karl Heller

      Wonderful tale ! ‘As She is for your growth, So, is she at your Pruning’ K.

  • Barbara DeBets

    Thank you! ♡♡♡

  • http://www.heartmath.org Heartmath Institute

    HMI understands and share your concern for trees and we certainly do not intend to harm them in anyway. We did have to remove the outer bark at the electrode site, however, I would liken the outer bark to more like the fur on an animal, rather that the skin so we just shaved the fur. Redwood trees have very thick bark and we were careful to remove the bark just to the inner bark (which is more like their skin) which covers and protects the cambium layer where we install a small stainless steel electrode, similar in proportion to an acupuncture needle used with a human.

    The area where the outer bark is removed, is only 2 inches in diameter although it may look larger in the photos it is relatively small. The smaller are of inner bark that was removed did regrow very quickly. Future electrode systems are evolving and won’t require the same level of invasiveness.

    I do agree that a higher level of information can be accessed from trees and nature without equipment and we are perusing research in several ways. In fact, we have been contacted by a number of individuals who communicate with trees.

    Although, intuitive information can be obtained from trees, we feel is also important to monitor their electrical activity and other physical measurements. There are many who have a general sense that trees and nature may have some “intelligence” but this is far from the majority of people. It has been our experience that this type of research provides a bridge for many people, that may not otherwise stop to appreciate the unique intelligence that trees and nature have.

    Thank you for communicating your concern and I hope this helps bring some reassurance that we do care about the health and well-being of all trees.