Posted by Scott Hackett on Fri, Aug 17, 2018 @ 2:38 AM
Urban trees need structural stability to survive strong winds and weather events. But how do we assess the stability of tree roots and therefore the tree itself? Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) recently kicked off the Jockey Smart City Tree Management Project. This large-scale project will tailor-make and install sensors on the lower trunks of selected urban trees to monitor their tilting angle in a 3-dimensional manner. Leveraging smart sensing technology (SST) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), the project will monitor urban tree stability to enhance timely mitigation measures to increase urban tree longevity.
Dr Miranda Lou, Executive Vice President of PolyU, said, “Committed to the pursuit for application-oriented research, PolyU researchers will apply smart sensing technology and Geographic Information Systems for monitoring tree stability. Our vision of establishing this system is to facilitate green management in the city for longer tree lives, so as to further improve our air quality for enhancing the living environment for the local community.”
Ir Hon Chi-keung, JP, Permanent Secretary for Development (Works) of HKSAR Development Bureau, said, “This project is a good opportunity to showcase Hong Kong’s positive attitude towards innovative technologies and technology applications. Through the close co-operation between the tree management departments and the project teams, an effective tree monitoring system will be established to enhance the tree management works in all aspects, enabling the continual development of Hong Kong into a safe and liveable city.”
Data collected will be used for a quantifiable analysis of the trees’ root plate movement and then a threshold developed based on numerous environmental factors. When the tilting angle of a tree exceeds the threshold, the project team will be alerted to conduct a visit to verify the data for the purpose of calibrating the system. When considered necessary, it will also inform the relevant tree management team to undertake actions in a timely manner.
Commencing in February 2018, approximately 8000 urban trees across the territory will be monitored over a 3-year period. Through early notification and response, the project aims to increase longevity of invaluable urban trees in Hong Kong.