Faculty of Bioscience Engineering
Since October 2015 a maple tree (Acer pseudoplatanus L.) standing in the center of the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering courtyard is being monitored. Information from the tree is gathered using two plant sensors, one sap flow sensor (developed at the Laboratory of Plant Ecology) and one dendrometer (Natkon). A soil moisture sensor is used to monitor the water status of the soil. Meteorological data is available through a local FBE weather station.
Sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus L.)
The maple is a tree which is native in Central Europe and Southwestern Asia and is an established species in Belgium since the 13th century. It reaches its maximum height (30 m) at the age of 60 year but can reach ages of up to 300-400 year. The bark is smooth on young trees but breaks up in scales when the tree gets older. Maple flowers in early May, around the same time that the leaves appear. Maple grows best in moist conditions and does not cope well with harsh winters. The soil can either be rich or poor but a good aeration of the soil is essential. Flood events can be fatal.
The satellite image below shows the exact location of the monitored tree in the FBE courtyard.