Monitoring tree electrical activity globally is a new endeavor that has never been attempted before! There is much that we do not yet know and we expect this citizen-scientist effort to help generate new questions for us to explore in the lab. The project consists of measuring and tracking the voltage generated both within the tree and between the tree and the ground around it. The ambient temperature is also measured and recorded to better understand any impact it might have on the measured voltages. It's expected that tracking these measurements across a number of different types of trees located around the world will help scientists at HeartMath and other organizations better understand how trees interact with the broader energy field in which we all exist.
Trees have a surprisingly complex range of electrical activity and rhythms. They clearly have circadian rhythms and other
slower rhythms as well as other activity that changes faster. They are coupled in part to electrical potentials that we see
waxing and waning with the sun and moon’s gravitational pull on the earth.
We also will be conducting experiments to see if and how trees respond to human emotions,
along the lines of what has been demonstrated with plants.
Another rather amazing observation has been that some of the longer-term trends in tree recordings
seem to respond to the approach of earthquakes. NASA Ames scientist Friedemann Freund, with whom we are collaborating,
has developed a theory that explains how rocks deep in the earth act as batteries when they are stressed by
tectonic forces preceding earthquakes. The theory also explains how the electrical charge carriers that flow through
the rocks appear to cause a response in the electrical activity of trees.
Amazingly, the tree potential changes occur well before the earthquakes actually happen. It may very well be that trees will end up playing the role of low-cost sensors that can help predict when larger earthquakes are about to occur.