revealing the hidden world of tree physiology


Homeowners value the trees on their property, but most don't know when one is declining until it's too late and needs to be cut down. Arborists have expert knowledge on tree care, but rely on homeowners to schedule an evaluation. How can we bridge this knowledge gap to improve treatment outcomes? 

solution & features

Sappi, a low cost, IoT-enabled monitor that collects sap flow data and correcting environmental factors to determine when a tree is beginning to decline. An accompanying app that analyzes data, presents simple models to homeowners, and alerts when to contact an Arborist for treatment.


- Interview homeowners, arborists, and other tree care stakeholders to define knowledge gap

- Benchmark competing products and patents to form innovation whitespace

- Visually and mathematically analyze given datasets to find best indicators of tree health

- Prototype and test sensor hardware and app while developing data analysis procedure

- Identify pertinent performance standards and design and execute testing to determine compliance

- Leverage agile development while collaborating with a Computer Science capstone to create a final app

- Create detailed design of sensor by building BOM, constructing value stream map, and connecting with manufacturers


- Researched academic journals and patents.

- Planned, scheduled, conducted, and analyzed user interviews


- Utilized Arduino microcontrollers and hardware modules to develop sensor prototypes.


- Designed, built, and executed testing plans and setups.

- Collected and synthesized project materials for handoff to another continuing team.

skills developed

Planning and executing long-term projects, team workload management, needfinding, market research, rapid prototyping and testing, electronics and microcontrollers, design for manufacturing.