Canopy Assist: A New Way to Measure Tree Health

Josh McGill All In For Citrus Podcast, Technology

Tripti Vashisth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) associate professor, joined the March episode of the All In For Citrus podcast to discuss a new smartphone application growers will be able to use soon to measure tree health.

Canopy Assist
A new smartphone application will measure tree health.

Plant growth regulators like gibberellic acid, 2,4-D and brassinosteroids have demonstrated the ability to improve tree health and help in fruit retention. More recently, direct delivery of oxytetracycline hydrochloride to tree trunks has been approved for use in Florida groves.

All of these materials have helped improve tree health, but it is often difficult to quantify how much improvement has occurred. That’s where the new app, called Canopy Assist, can help.

Growers can take a photo of their trees with their smartphone, and the program will assign a measure of tree health based on the image taken of the tree’s canopy.

“We know that the health of an HLB-infected tree is very much dependent on the health of the canopy of the tree,” Vashisth said. “It is very important to measure the health of the tree and how good it looks. That’s why we have come up with this program that will provide quantitative numbers measuring tree health … It is not just a subjective observation.

“So, whatever treatment you have being applying, whether it be a plant growth regulator, fertilizer program or trunk injection, you can measure the benefits these are having over time using the Canopy Assist application.”

Vashisth said quantitative measurements will help growers evaluate these new treatments and assist in the decision-making process of whether to continue them or not. The app is set to be released later in April. UF/IFAS will produce an instructional video on how to use the application when Canopy Assist is released.

To learn more about the app, listen to the latest episode of All In For Citrus. The podcast is a joint partnership between UF/IFAS and AgNet Media.

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Frank Giles


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