The world’s first tweeting tree! @awitness tree now on Twitter
Wired with sensors, the Witness Tree at the Harvard Forest is now live tweeting from the forest — to more than 7,700 followers and counting.
The brainchild of Tim Rademacher and his team at the Harvard Forest, my tree now is transmitting data from sensors that track everything from its growth rate to temperature and sap rise to tell the world — in conversational language — about what it is up to, day to day. The tree’s posts are also contextualized with 55 years of climate data at the forest.
The tree has agency: its uploads of data drive what is posted. But credit Clarisse Hart at the forest for the tree’s graceful prose. Thanks, Clarisse.
Live tweeting takes the tree’s real time presence to a whole new level — this is a look inside the day-to-day life of the tree. Nothing like it has ever existed before. What I love about it is the way it makes tree physiology and forest ecology real. Approachable, and fun.
And there’s more, with sightings from the wildlife camera right by the tree to show who’s in the neighborhood (take a look at that sassy fox spotted recently) to the opportunity to ask the tree how it is doing and get an answer. This is a whole new way to get deep inside a tree — literally.
It’s been a sensation, with media around the world picking up the story. Have a look — follow the tree, and ask it a question!
With kudos to the crew at the Harvard Forest for thinking it all up and making it happen. Here’s the inside scoop on that.
Thanks also to the crew at the Harvard Forest for keeping the web cam going strong under the tree now since 2014. That’s impressive in a forest especially with New England weather.
So now when the tree tweets, you can have a look at the webcam too, and see the tree and its lived experience in the forest. Facebook is next.
Last bit of recent news is Witness Tree Seasons of Change With a Century Old Oak What One Tree Tells Us about Climate Change is now out in paperback. The University of Washington Press did a beautiful job with the newest edition.