Internet of Things in the Green Sector: Tree Care 2.0

Heat stress, drought and rainwater. All acute and chronic stresses in these times of climate change. This is especially noticeable in the city. Research shows that more greenery in the city provides cooling, among other things. Many municipalities have put “the green city” high on their agenda. The planting of large numbers of trees is the result.

Trees do not have an easy time in the built environment. A solid tree planting is therefore crucial. Because how do you ensure, for example, that young trees do not die due to drought? What opportunities does the Internet of Things (IoT) offer to help our trees?

Imagine trees being able to "talk" directly to you and tell you what they really need. A nice idea, right? By placing a sensor at the roots of a tree, we can collect information about that tree. Well, you're not having a conversation just yet. But it's the next best thing.

The perfect amount of water

Our solution consists of a calibrated moisture sensor, which is placed invisibly near the tree. On the online dashboard, the arborist sees a map with all of the sensor positions and the current state of affairs. For example, is the soil too dry? Then he sees an orange or red dot on the map. In one overview, the arborist knows where and when to water. Not too much, not too little: water is only given when it is really necessary.

Predict moisture requirement

Using predictive software is another interesting solution. An example of this is our soil moisture predictor. The software combines all kinds of factors that influence the moisture development of the soil where the tree is located. In addition to the moisture measurements, we also include the local weather data in order to arrive at an accurate, real-time prediction of the tree's moisture requirement. With this solution, the arborist knows exactly where to pay attention.

FITBIT for trees

The Internet of Things cannot influence the weather or keep pests away. What it can do is moderate the effect of these external influences. Think of sensors that measure the humidity, temperature, nutrients, acidity and oxygen content of the soil.

By using the Internet of Things, the arborist can see the state of the soil and the tree at any time and make adjustments if necessary to ensure that the most healthy situation for his or her trees is created. The result: economic, ecological and social profit.

Changing roles as a result of IoT

Thanks to the aforementioned innovations, the role of the arborist is changing. Where he used to literally stand with his boots in the mud, he is now free to view the current state of affairs of his trees from anywhere, via smartphone, laptop or tablet. At home, at the office, or on the go.

The possibilities for automation and making green management smarter are endless; the savings it will yield are even greater.

Marcel Steegh