A tree in Vilnius staying hydrated, Source: Vilnius Municipality

Smart system will detect how thirsty Vilnius trees are

Smart system will detect how thirsty Vilnius trees are

Special sensors will measure the moisture content in the soil near the roots

The City of Vilnius is preparing for the upcoming summer by making sure that its trees will stay well-hydrated during the hot season. This will be possible through a network of smart sensors, which will detect the moisture levels in the soil where the plants are rooted.

The intelligent system is currently being implanted by Stebulė, a landscaping company from the Lithuanian capital. The enterprise had already tested its viability last year in different districts of the city.

It eases the work of employees, too

The way it works seems fairly simple and it’s an example of taking advantage of new technologies to bring about positive environmental results. All the moisture data is automatically digitized and can be consulted in real-time.

Sensors are buried to a depth of 20-50 cm to measure moisture in deeper layers rather than on the surface of the soil. These sensors are buried to a lesser depth near bushes, and deeper near trees. 

The fact that the surface layer of the earth is dry does not mean that there is no moisture in the soil. And vice versa - even if it rained very recently, there is not necessarily enough moisture for the plants. Deeper, near the roots, there may be dry soil," explained Gintautas Runovičius, head of the Urban Management and Environmental Protection Department of the Vilnius Municipal Administration. 

In spring and summer, 288,000 litres of water are poured on city plants in one day. This amount would fill 8 truck tanks. 

Previously, moisture was measured with mobile mechanical and electronic moisture meters - an employee had to go to the site and check the soil moisture manually. 



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU