As drones become more reliable and senor equipment and cameras become smaller and cheaper, drones are now a real life option to monitor the health of plants—which can be a benefit to everyone from farmers to scientists and government departments monitoring the affects of weather issues like drought.
Recently a professor from UC Berkeley teamed up with drone maker Parrot to study the health of giant sequoia trees with drones. For the study, drones are equipped with sensors and cameras that allow them to fly around the tree to map its foliage and monitor dry areas with multispectral imaging.
While before it would take a team of researchers a week or more to map a single tree, a drone can do it in a few hours.
Additionally, it is reported that California-based UAV manufacturer AeroVironment is working with California State University to use its drones to monitor water stress for almond trees.