Best of Earth911 Podcast: ePlant CEO Graham Hine Listens to the Trees

Smart homes are commonplace today. Now, the intelligent yard is poised to join the mix. Meet Graham Hine, CEO of ePlant, which recently introduced the TreeTag. This solar-powered monitor is attached to a tree to monitor its health and send updates wirelessly to a phone. TreeTags are placed onto the side of trees using a screw and measure minor size fluctuations in trees. For example, the bark’s contraction can indicate stress, such as a lack of water. The TreeTag includes an accelerometer to detect movement patterns that may suggest instability and a humidity sensor to augment local weather data. The TreeTag employs artificial intelligence to process and transmit its data to the cloud. You can talk to your tree using ChatGPT as an interpreter. The experience is like chatting with a friend, but it might be about how much water the tree needs to be healthy or a report on its growth and the carbon it has captured as it grows.

Graham Hine, cofounder and CEO of ePlant, is our guest on Sustainability In Your Ear.

ePlant is among the most intriguing and fun devices we’ve seen this year. Technology can help us see the environment in new ways, bolstering our senses with data that lets us identify biases so that we can respond to climate change, local extreme weather, and drought thoughtfully and efficiently. Solar-powered devices like TreeTag, if manufactured with minimal environmental impact, can expand our sensory engagement with the health of forests, orchards, and suburban yards to reduce overwatering, preserve tree and plant species struggling with local weather changes, and potentially increase the yield of food produced per gallon of water used. You can learn more about ePlant at https://www.eplant.com/

Editor’s Note: This episode was first published on October 23, 2023.