Those fallen down trees might be difficult to notice based on their appearance before the catastrophe occurs. Singapore has recently introduced a new technique to address this issue.
Singapore is a country that loves trees
The island nation, which has a population of 5.45 million, is home to about seven million trees, and it oversees a large portion of them using a sophisticated Internet of Things monitoring system.
This is typical of Singaporeans, who are also obsessed with tracking everything. In order to achieve its aim of becoming a smart nation, the city-state has developed an ever-expanding masterplan that makes use of technology to control, connect, and track as many facets of daily life as possible.
Thus, once they reach a particular size, Singapore’s National Parks Board (NParks) tracks trees — over six million of them — so that arborists may manage them using an app.
NParks take care of tress in air-conditioned offices
CEO of NParks Tan Chong Lee says that the agency’s staff regularly checks the stability of all urban trees. However, with the remote tree system and other digital assessments, many other tree care tasks can be done from the comfort of an air-conditioned office.
Being so close to the equator, Singapore experiences constant summer, with daily highs of roughly 91°F (33°C). This makes it a useful alternative to have. Except when it rains, which happens on average 167 days a year.
Singapore controls its trees by building a digital twin, gathering LiDAR point clouds, and then using artificial intelligence to geolocate every tree. This essentially eliminates the manual efforts so that our team doesn’t have to travel around to the hill to measure all the trees – this can be done automatically using this method.
NParks then uses finite element models on the digital twin to help the team examine the overall stability of the trees in various weather situations (Singapore is prone to strong tropical cyclones), taking into account things like tree architecture, wood strength, and root space.
The checks, however, don’t end there. To make sure the trees are still prospering, the organization employs multispectral analysis of satellite remote sensing data to measure chlorophyll levels. Additionally, it incorporates street-level cameras that provide panoramic imagery for remote visual inspections and attaches real tilt sensors to older trees to detect any unexpected movement that would be dangerous.
If NParks receives notice of any issues, personnel can take action to fix the structure of a tree or perform more evaluations to determine whether the plant’s life has come to an end.
Tragedy can be prevented with high-tech tree analysis
The high-tech tree analysis has been in the works for a while. The process started 20 years ago when the trees were given GPS tags. As new technology became available, the process got better. A study effort that was finally put into effect allowed for the machine learning-based geotagging of the trees to start happening about five years ago. The inventory of trees is now completed automatically as a result.
Another noteworthy incident using the NParks tree fleet occurred five years ago. During a well-attended concert in the park with her family and an infant in her arms, a 38-year-old woman died after being struck by a falling 270-year-old tembusu tree. The tragedy is still fresh in the minds of the locals since concertgoers hurried to cut down the big tree.
The tree had been examined twice a year, and no visual flaw was discovered, according to a Botanic Gardens director’s testimony at the ensuing inquest. But for a week prior to the incident, it had been pouring with severe gusts. Later on, NParks was sued by the woman’s husband.
The worst case scenario of what can go wrong with sick or poorly maintained trees is undoubtedly death or damage from a falling tree. Additionally, stray trees have the power to ruin property, obstruct highways and viaducts, and cover up signage.
They track the amount of tree incidents such as the falling of a branch or the snapping or uprooting of a tree trunk. The number of these incidences decreased from 3000 annually before the turn of the century to less than 500 now.