Speaking to Trees? Yes, It’s Now Possible

June 20, 2023 | 


Joanna Newman



Have you ever wished you could converse with your leafy companions? Do you find yourself talking to the mighty oak in your backyard, asking it about its day, or maybe pleading with your birch to stop dropping leaves on your freshly mowed lawn? Well, you´re in luck. Thanks to the innovative technology of ePlant, your dreams of chatting with your chlorophyll-filled friends can now become a reality.

ePlant: The Bridge Between Humans and Trees

ePlant, a company powered by veteran engineers and scientists passionate about unlocking plant insights, has developed the revolutionary TreeTag system. This system turns plants into environmental sensors and provides real-time data to support applications in various sectors, including agriculture, arboriculture, forestry, government, risk management, and even consumer spaces. All of this is accomplished with a delightful blend of cutting-edge technology and a passion for plants that rivals the love affair between a bee and a sunflower.

ePlant´s TreeTag system monitors the growth, irrigation, stress, temperature, and humidity of trees in real-time, sending data wirelessly to the cloud. The device requires no maintenance and has a multi-year lifespan, working tirelessly to ensure that our plant buddies stay in tip-top shape.

TreeTag: How It Works

The TreeTag is a 3.5-inch-tall wireless device that mounts directly onto a tree´s trunk or a major branch. It´s like a Fitbit for trees, minus the step-tracking and sleep-monitoring features (because, let´s be real, trees aren´t known for their active lifestyles or insomnia). The data collected from the TreeTag, such as water status and growth, is wirelessly transmitted to the internet, where users can access it in near real-time via ePlant´s cloud API.

The TreeTag system is designed to be easy to use, taking mere minutes to install with plant data available within 20 minutes. With over two years of research and development with leading researchers and universities, ePlant delivers scientifically-backed conversational insights that help improve the health and longevity of our trees. The system is so simple even a Venus flytrap could do it (though we don´t recommend they try, for obvious reasons).

TreeTalk: A Conversation with Your Tree

One of the most fascinating aspects of the ePlant TreeTag system is its ability to facilitate a conversation between you and your tree. You heard that right. Now you can sit down with a cup of tea and have a heart-to-heart with your favorite Dogwood or Maple.

Here´s a sample conversation when you talk to your tree:

Homeowner: "How are you doing today, Mr. Tree?"

Tree: "Hello there, It’s me Gumdrop! Your Eucalyptus friend. I am feeling a little bit concerned today because I have been leaning more than usual."

Homeowner: "How much are you leaning?"

Tree: "I’m leaning 2 degrees more to the North versus a week ago and I’m worried about toppling over."

Homeowner: "How can I help you?"

Tree: "It’s time to call an arborist to take a look at me. I’m concerned about falling on my surroundings."

Isn´t that something? Just imagine if trees could also tell knock-knock jokes!

ePlant TreeTag: A Multifaceted Tool

The ePlant TreeTag provides several crucial insights into a tree´s health and environmental conditions. It monitors real-time growth, irrigation, stress, temperature, and humidity. By doing so, it helps with irrigation and drought management by monitoring water flow through the growth layer of the tree, which is a key factor in tree establishment and survival.

Moreover, the TreeTag aids in health assessment as it enables growers and arborists to analyze potential disruptions by pests, disease, or damage by observing changes in a tree´s transpiration and growth. It also supports growth modeling by directly measuring growth, which can be compared against standards to prepare for harvest, identify phases such as budding, flushing, or dormancy, or understand carbon capture.

Another essential feature is the device´s capability to measure the tree´s lean. Using its inbuilt accelerometer, it can detect if a tree is leaning more than usual, providing crucial early warnings before a tree fall.

Ease of Use and Accessibility:

One of the standout aspects of the ePlant TreeTag is its ease of use. It takes only minutes to install, with plant data available within 20 minutes. The TreeTag, coupled with the ePlant app, offers real-time updates on various factors such as growth, contraction, irrigation, lean, stress, temperature, light, carbon capture, humidity, and overall health. Users can receive actionable insights and proactive suggestions from their trees to ensure they remain healthy and thriving. The AI-powered sensor system provides unprecedented insights into factors like irrigation requirements, tree lean, microenvironment changes, and growth patterns, and offers general advice on tree care.

What’s Included and How to Use:

Each starter bundle comes with a solar-powered ePlant TreeTag, a plug-in bridge for wireless connection, and a free one-year subscription to the ePlant app. Installation is simple and takes about 5 minutes. Just plug in your bridge inside your home, insert your ePlant TreeTag into your tree, and follow the prompts in the app to connect your tree and name it. The TreeTag then begins collecting plant insights and providing updates on your tree’s health within 20 minutes. The TreeTag requires zero maintenance and has an average lifespan of 10 years.

Testimonials and Professional Opinions

Professionals in the field have commended TreeTag´s effectiveness. Natalie Love, a Frost Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellow at Cal Poly, for instance, noted how the sensors are simple and fast to install, providing reliable data at fine temporal resolutions. She stated that the sensors are capable of detecting problems with trees long before symptoms appear to the observer, improving our ability to detect and monitor tree health.


In conclusion, the ePlant TreeTag represents a significant advance in how we interact with and understand our trees. The device provides a suite of real-time data about a tree´s health and needs, including growth, irrigation, stress, temperature, and humidity, all wirelessly transmitted to the cloud for easy access and analysis. It also monitors the tree´s microenvironment and its response to changes, potentially warning about hazards like a tree leaning dangerously after a storm. The device is easy to install, requires no maintenance, and has a lifespan of several years.

This smart sensor not only benefits individual tree owners but also provides valuable insights for a variety of fields, including agriculture, forestry, risk management, and more. The application of AI in understanding our trees´ needs can lead to better care and preservation, significantly improving their health and longevity.

The technology behind ePlant TreeTag is backed by 30 years of research and a team of experienced engineers and scientists, promising a reliable and effective system. As an added benefit, the data collected by TreeTag can contribute to broader efforts in tackling climate change and promoting sustainable practices. At a time when trees are more important than ever for our environment, this innovation could make a substantial difference.