How IoT Solution Can Help Monitor Trees


This article is discussing an IoT Solution that uses sensors on the trees to monitor and analyse their well-being.



Forest resources are one of the most important resources on the planet and the basis of biodiversity. It not only provides a variety of precious woods and raw materials for production and life, but also provides a variety of items for human economic life. It can regulate the climate, maintain water and soil, prevent and mitigate natural disasters such as droughts, winds, hail, etc.; It also has functions of purifying air and eliminating noise; at the same time, the forest is still a natural zoo and botanical garden, which feeds a variety of birds and beasts and grows a variety of precious Forest trees and herbs. With the rapid development of the social economy, the global climate is getting warmer. Protecting urban forests is especially important for the lives of our human beings.


Current Problems

1. Illegal chopping and theft of the expensive, scented wood has been a constant headache in the states where the trees are cultivated.

2. Mahogany, because of its hard material, has long been regarded by Asians as the preferred wood for luxury furniture. However, the growth cycle of mahogany is very long. Even if the law prohibits the cutting down and export of such endangered wood species, the phenomenon of illegal logging still occurs frequently.

3. Natural disasters such as the collapse of trees can cause road congestion, casualties, car damage, power supply interruptions, etc.

If a pilot project involving an internet of things (IoT) solution that uses sensors on the trees to monitor and analyse their well-being is anything to go by, tracking down the thieves and recovering the stolen wood from them would become easier in the future. At the same time, it would be possible to prevent the occurrence of natural disasters such as the collapse of trees in advance.

Due to the impact of typhoons in the south of China. This pilot project is being implemented in Fujian, China, and other southern regions. The project uses two wireless sensor solutions, LoRaWAN and NB-IoT. The sensor is a small electronic instrument that records dynamic structural root zone movement (called tilt) to accurately measure the tree’s response to wind. By accurately measuring the tilt movement of a tree’s structural root zone in high wind the stability of the tree can be assessed.



LoRaWAN Sensor:
Outstanding accuracy, high resolution;
LoRa wireless communication;
Maximum transmitting distance 5000m;
Wider range of power supply voltage accepted;
Low power consumption IC;
Power switching and protective circuit;
Long working hours with batteries.

NB-IoT Sensor:
Use industrial devices, stable and reliable performance;
Very low power consumption;
Conventional batteries can continuous work for five years.


The IoT solution would make it possible to monitor and protect the trees more cost-effectively and more easily. This system can be used to monitor a single tree or groups of trees. It is suitable for use in both the urban and forest environments. When installing sensors it is recommended that two sensors are placed on the tree: one at ground level (Base) and a second sensor (Control) is placed higher up the trunk above 2.5 meters. Data from the Control sensor records trunk movement and is used to confirm if a wind event has occurred.  The Base sensor records the tilt values at ground level and provides the critical data used to establish the stability of the tree.