Tree Inclination (Lean) Sensors

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Tree Inclination (Lean) Sensors

Post by MarkGraham » Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:39 pm

Are there sensors available that detect tree lean and send a notice if the tree lean increases by a certain defined amount.

There are many examples of potentially hazardous trees adjacent to roadways or structures. If a sensor was attached somewhere up trunk on such trees a signal could be sent if a change of lean of say five degrees or more was detected. It is hard to visually note a five degree change in lean at ground level while standing right beside the tree.

I have read several examples of trees "getting shorter" before they fell. A "leaner" may not suddenly fall but may lean more and more over time, then fall. And a notable change in lean could mean the tree is on the way down, and soon. A couple well known examples are Telperion and Dyerville Giant, which gradually moved from about an 85 degree standing angle to as low as a 75 degree standing angle before they fell. Here in my town there was a big leaner of concern, the tall garbage trucks drove under it for many years until one day after a big rain the garbage truck rubbed against the trunk. That's when they knew to take the tree down.

Is there a device to avoid needing to do a garbage truck test. I suppose a sine based range finder could be used from the same spot over time to detect changes in angle but that is labor intensive.

Maybe an idea for the inventors out there. Bet transportation departments and parks would buy 'em and put them up.

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Re: Tree Inclination (Lean) Sensors

Post by M.W.Taylor » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:49 pm

These would be easy to build using Arduino or Raspberry Pi enclosed in a waterproof housing with tilt sensor. Total cost would be about $30 each. I was thinking a tiny solar panel would be a good way to keep it powered. You'd need to place high up the tree so it does not get stolen though. You could communicate with it using WiFi or Bluetooth. If near a WiFi hotspot you could have 24hr remote monitoring.

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