News & Analysis

Urban forest management using LoRaWAN

4th November 2021
Sam Holland

Semtech Corporation has announced that ICT International, an IoT solution provider for environmental applications, is leveraging Semtech’s LoRa devices and the LoRaWAN standard to improve urban forest management and carbon accounting.


ICT International’s range of plant physiology devices are able to monitor the health of the urban forest in real time via a LoRaWAN network. The products are able to measure plant water use (sap flow), soil moisture and vapor pressure deficit, and can identify periods of low soil moisture and high plant water stress. Addressing these factors quickly can help trees remain healthy – valuable ecosystem services to the community as well as measurable carbon capture.

“The urban forest provides valuable eco services such as carbon sequestration through photosynthesis and cooling through shade and evapotranspiration. However, to perform these valuable functions the tree must be healthy,” says Dr Peter Cull, managing director at ICT International.

“The urban forest represents overwhelmingly the only interaction with nature that many of the world’s population have on a day-to-day basis. With increasing urbanisation of the population, the shift to urban living and appreciation of the green spaces that exist within those areas, the value placed on the urban forest is increasing.”

The key devices in the collaboration included the SFM1L Sap Flow Meter and the PSY1 Stem Psychrometer which ICT International have deployed throughout cities in New South Wales, Australia to identify the ongoing water requirements of the urban forest. Through the use of LoRaWAN, these unique devices are capable of continuously measuring plant water use (SFM1L) and plant water stress (PSY1), while transmitting the data to the decision maker.

“ICT International’s utilisation of LoRaWAN for its sensors is a great example of how low power, wide area networks can ultimately create a smart city and a better and healthier planet for all,” says Marc Pégulu, vice president of IoT strategy and products for Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Products Group.

“The real-time monitoring enabled by the LoRaWAN connectivity is providing actionable data to the forest’s surrounding city water allocation and irrigation departments to make decisions on maintaining the health of the urban forest.”

To learn more about ICT International SFM1L Sap Flow Meter, click here; and to learn more about how Semtech’s LoRa devices can be used in smart environment applications, click here.

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