Listening To Trees As Fellow Citizens

A tree recorded by David Haskell.

A callery pear tree in NYC. Haskell made a recording of the tree by attaching an accelerometer was attached to the tree’s bark, picking up vibrations in the solid tree, not the air. In the recording, we hear the subway (vibrations coming up through the ground) and the sound of a sparrow (vibrations arriving in the air). ©David Haskell

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David Haskell is a biologist who listens to trees. Inside, outside, bark, trunk, leaves, veins, roots. Not just for fun, but as a form of science. David Rothenberg goes for a walk/interview with Haskell, who has been listening to and recording the sounds of urban trees. Haskell can identify leaves by sound, talks about listening as a way of doing science, and explains why nature/culture is a false dichotomy.