25 November 2011

GPS plotting young trees

| johnboy
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Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has announced a tech rollout in the humble world of tree watering:

ACT Chief Minister and Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Katy Gallagher, today announced that a project is underway to water more than 22,000 young trees throughout 94 suburbs of Canberra utilising GPS technology to map tree locations.

“The ACT Government is embracing GPS and spatial technology to improve the efficiency of the current watering program for trees on suburban verges and in urban parkland,” the Chief Minister said.

“These new technologies have allowed us to give each young tree a precise geographic location that can be presented on maps or enlarged aerial photographs so that contractors can easily locate the young trees.

Four local contractors will carry out the watering of the young trees utilising seven trucks ranging in capacity from 7000 litres to 9000 litres of non-potable water from Canberra’s urban lakes including Lake Burley Griffin, Lake Tuggeranong, Lake Ginninderra and Yerrabi pond.

Each tree will be watered about once a month with up to 50 litres.

Over 50% of the 22,000 young trees are located in new areas of Canberra including Harrison, Franklin, Gungahlin, Bonner, Casey and Crace, with Harrison and Franklin alone having over 8,000 young trees combined.

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Sounds like a good idea, though I wonder how they used to water the trees back when our magnificent urban forest was young.

We have a first world water distribution network and we’re going to cart 13000 tonnes of water per annum on dirty co2 emiting trucks?!

I can’t speak for PCL but The way it works with contractors is they are paid a certain amount of money to look after each young tree including maintaining the small wells around them to retain water, mulching and watering. It is left to them to schedule these activities and the only check is small random sampling performance monitoring on a monthly basis. I understand though that PCL’s tree surgery section has now retaken responsibility for all young trees in the ACT.

alaninoz said :

Are they currently over-watering, missing trees or what?

That’s probably the point of setting up the system – they don’t really know. In reality it will probably just be an accounting tool but the data may be useful for doing some interesting GIS analysis.

alaninoz said :

Nothing really new here. GPS has been used in precision farming for several years now.

yep, +1.

Nothing really new here. GPS has been used in precision farming for several years now. Would be interested in the cost of setting this up and in the expected benefits. Are they currently over-watering, missing trees or what?

You can lead a local government sub-contractor to young trees but you can’t make them water.

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