The Red Maple network (at left) showing 10-HS sensor placements in the container (at right).
Mr. Terry Hines installed his own Decagon sensor network in 2009 with the assistance of John Lea-Cox, to monitor substrate water content primarily in his Dogwood blocks.
In spring of 2010, these existing networks were reconfigured and a new intensive 6 node (30-sensor) Decagon network was installed on three Red Maple ‘Sunset Flame’ trees (pictured at right). Eight 10-HS sensors were placed in each of the three rootballs, positioned as shown at right.
Additionally two ECRN-50 rain gauges were placed on each tree (see below) to measure:
(A) the applied irrigation volume from the irrigation emitter (at top left; rain cover not shown) and
(B) the leachate volumes obtained from each 30-gallon container (lower rain gauge). The tree container was modified to catch the leachate from the outer socket pot, directed through the ECRN-50 rain gauge.
In this way, Terry Hines could accurately monitor irrigation water applications and leaching simultaneously, providing him with a very sensitive indicator of when the substrate was saturated.
By monitoring the eight sensors placed in the upper and lower quadrants of these trees, we could map spatial and temporal water movement in real-time and relate that to irrigation volume and periodicity of applying water.