“Using the sensors, the data has shown us the relationship between the amount of oxygen in the soil and the amount of water that's available in soil,” says Charlene. Turns out, there’s a critical relationship here. Once water reaches a certain level, you lose respiration (meaning the soil can no longer “breathe”) which can have disastrousimpacts on the trees.
Weirdly enough, the symptoms of a waterlogged tree and that of drought-stricken tree look nearly identical. Dry, drooping, browning leaves. And even if you accurately spot the damage on a tree, by the time you do, it’s often too late to save it. “This is exactly the problem,” Darby sighs, “how are you supposed to know what's really wrong without looking at the soil? We’ve got to start looking below the surface.”