Outdoor Tree Inventory: Mixing RFID, GPS, and Pictures
Trees, bushes, or other long growing items need to be surveyed and cleared for debris. Also, checkups for health (disease) or insects helps ensure good growth.
Adding an RFID Tag and GPS position to each tree makes it easy to track each tree, and update a database that the tree has been checked and cleared of debris, and is healthy.
In the case of tree farms for investment, it also adds a method for showing investors their purchase. By showing the specific tree and GPS location, investors can zoom in using Google Maps and take a look at their trees.
It is only a matter of time before Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods investors will be able to go online, by using programs like Google Earth, to look at their specific sustainable lumber investment from space and to pinpoint their specific stand. - Jeff Dunster, Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods
We did a project years ago for Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods tracking each tree with an RFID tag and tieing that to GPS.
Our latest Wave handheld also allows you to add a picture. We think this is an excellent QA and audit step.
Cost Savings for RFID
|Durable Barcode Asset Tag||$0.10|
|SimplyRFiD RAIN RFID Tag||$0.25|
|Cost Difference||$0.15 ($1,500 on 10,000 tags)|
|Barcode @ 10 seconds per tag||27 hours|
|RFID @ 1 second||3 hours|
What's the total savings?
With tree density being much lower than many asset items, it's hard to get massive time savings. But crawling under limbs should save you about 10 seconds per tree and result in fewer scratches.
Overall, you'll save more than 20 hours auditing 10,000 trees—every time you check.
With RFID, you squeeze the trigger from 10-20' away and get the exact tree ID. At the same time, we can store the GPS, and you can add a fresh picture.
Our low-cost, high-performance TR tag is perfect for tracking trees. It's synthetic (plastic) and will survive outdoors for at least ten years. It should last for-ever, but many compounds begin to fail at the 15+ year mark — adhesives, inks all fade. The RFID tag should not fail and should last the life of tree growth. Just ensure it's attached well.
Place the tag on the tree with a loose strap around the base. The tag can go on a plastic sleeve or in a plastic holder. You don't need to 'see' the tag, so placing the tag in a sleeve will prevent adhesive loss/tag peeling off the tree.
At each checkup, ensure the strap remains loose so it doesn't impede the tree growth. You may also use a ground stake if you're confident it will stay tight/not blow away.
Each time you audit the area and scan the RFID tag, the time stamp will be updated, and the latest GPS will be stored. Auditing with Wave ensures your team is visiting each tree, what time they visited, and the exact location of that visit.
Adding a current picture will allow the team to look at the tree over time and see if there are any issues missed.
You can also add additional data like height, width, color, or other specific data fields relevant to your operation.
If you have a mixture of trees, you can sort/add trees by type. For instance, "I have 200 trees taller than 10'"