Sap Flow Workshop

Event Details

  • Date:

 Sap Flow Workshop

“Monitoring tree reaction to environment: tools and their application in forest ecology and urban forestry”

June 17-19, 2015 


Background information

Availability and quality of products and services we obtain from forests or urban trees can be notably affected by changes of environmental conditions. In order to adapt to changing world, we need maximum information on tree response to environmental parameters, which can be used to identify critical conditions affecting growth and vitality. Thus, having such knowledge allows us to develop sound recommendations in order to reduce the negative impact. Direct measurements of sap flow can be used as an efficient tool for tracing of changes of tree vigour in relation to meteorological conditions as well  as other biotic and abiotic factors. In this workshop, application of heat pulse velocity sap flow measurement technique in forestry and urban forestry will be demonstrated by authors of case studies.


The main objective of workshop is to demonstrate the sap flow monitoring technique that can be used for studies of tree response in order to enhance competence about diversity of tree-climate interactions. The workshop is intended to introduce participants with state-of-art knowledge in field of tree water relations. Aspects of application of sap flow techniques to be covered:

  • tree water balance and ecophysiology;
  • wood anatomy and seasonality of growth;
  • installation and maintenance of instruments in study site;
  • data processing and interpretation.


  • Prof. Jan Čermak (Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic)
  • Alec Downey (ICT International, Australia)
  • Dr.silv. Āris Jansons (Latvian State Forest Research Institute SILAVA, Latvia)
  • Prof. Kalev Jõgiste (Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia)
  • PhD Clara A. Pinto (National Institute for Agricultural and Veterinary Research, Portugal)
  • PhD Virginia Hernández-Santana (The Institute of Natural Resources and Agrobiology of Seville, Spain)

Wednesday 17.06.2015.

08:00 – 08:30  Registration and COFFEE

08:30 – 08:50  Edgars Neilands & Alec Downey – Opening of the workshop

08:50 – 09:50  Kalev Jõgiste – Forest disturbances and ecosystem management in the hemiboreal zone

09:50 – 10:20  Āris Jansons – Predicted major impacts of climatic changes on forest trees

10:20 – 10:40  COFFEE BREAK

10:40 – 12:10  Jan Čermak – Using Radial Sap Flow Profiles to map Tree root systems

12:10 – 13:10  LUNCH

13:10 – 14:40  Tree transplantation
Sap flow and stem water potential will be measured in tree during the transplantation nearby the location of workshop.

14:40 – 15:00  COFFEE BREAK

15:00 – 15:45  Clara A. Pinto – Measuring sap flow in plant stems using thermal methods

15:45 – 16:30  Clara A. Pinto – Using the HFD method to disclose the water pathways in the xylem of a cork oak tree

16:30 – 16:50  COFFEE BREAK

16:50 – 18:20  Virginia Hernández-Santana – Scaling from single-point sap velocity measurements to stand transpiration in a mono and multi-species deciduous forest: uncertainty sources, stand structure effect and future scenarios applications

19:00 – 23:00  WORKSHOP DINNER

Thursday 18.06.2015.

08:00 – 09:30  Alec Downey & Jan Čermak – Theory & principles of measuring sap flow by Heat Ratio Method (SFM1 Sap Flow Meter)
A review about Heat Ratio Method explaining theory and principles of how high, low and reverse flows of sap can be measured in both woody and herbaceous plants.

09:30 – 09:50  COFFEE BREAK

09:50 – 11:20  Alec Downey & Jan Čermak – Theory & principles of operation and applications of the Stem Psychrometer
Introduction to concept of stem psychrometry for the continuous, non-destructive measurements of stem water potential. Theory and principles of application of Stem Psychrometer in arboculture, forestry, horticulture and agriculture.

11:20 – 12:20  LUNCH

12:20 – 13:50  Alec Downey & Jan Čermak – Theory & principles of the Heat Field Deformation (HFD8) sap flow technique
Demonstration of application of Heat Field Deformation technique for mapping hydraulic architecture of tree by measuring radial sap flow patterns of the stem. This method is appropriate to diagnose urban tree health and management.

13:50 – 14:20  COFFEE BREAK

14:20 – 15:20  Poster session/discussions and private meetings with speakers

15:30 – 18:30  Excursion to sap flow case study site in Riga

18:30 – 22:00  Dinner in the city center of Riga

22:00 – 23:00  Departure to hotels/workshop venue

Friday 19.06.2015.

08:00 – 10:30  Practical session – Installation and maintenance of the HFD8 and SFM1 Sap Flow Meters by Alec Downey & Jan Čermak
Correct installation techniques of the instrument to ensure accurate measurements will be demonstrated.

10:30 – 10:50  COFFEE BREAK

10:50 – 12:20  Practical session – Installation and maintenance of the Stem Psychrometer (PSY1) by Alec Downey
Preparation of the stem, installation, maintenance and calibration of the stem psychrometer will be demonstrated to ensure accurate and continuous measurements of water potential.

12:20 – 13:20  LUNCH

13:20 – 14:50  Practical session – Analyzing SFM1 & HFD8 sap flow data using Sap Flow Tool Software by Alec Downey
Application of Sap Flow Tool software for analysis of the sap flow data. Case of the transplanted tree.

14:50 – 15:10  COFFEE BREAK

15:10 – 15:30  Closing ceremony

15:30 – 17:00  Discussions and private meetings with speakers

– end of workshop –

Tree transplantation

Tree transplantation will be carried-out in order to observe changes in sap flow and stem water potential in response to mechanical damage. Tree will be moved by same method applied to transplant middle-sized northern red oak (Quercus rubra) in Riga in February 2015 (see video below). Continued monitoring of the transplanted tree via the web site will be provided during and after the workshop.


Excursion to the case study at the construction site of National Art Museum in Riga. Sap flow is monitored in two  Tilia x vulgaris trees in order to assess the impact of mechanical root damage of urban trees.

Trees are enclosed by the construction site. © Ieva Čīka/LETA
Roots were pruned before the start of digging. © Ieva Čīka/LETA
Construction site at the park in 2014.
Sample tree has been hit by heavy vehicle.
Box is placed on sample tree in order to protect the instrument from mechanical damage of heavy vehicles.

Starting since Monday 15.06., accommodation in shared dormitories for 15 persons on-site is offered for 10 EUR per day (including breakfast etc.).
Shower and WC facilities will be provided for participants who will stay in tents on-site. Breakfast and lunch is offered for 10 EUR per day.
Other possibilities of accommodation and distance to workshop venue:

Shuttle from hotel to the location of event will be provided.


The workshop will be held at the facility of the Society of Annas Tree School.

Lat:56.9125357 Lon:23.7864266

_MG_0265  _MG_0278

Shuttle from airport to the location of event will be provided.


Deadline for the registration is June 14, 2015.
Participation fee is 270 EUR.
Starting since Monday 15.06., accommodation in shared dormitories for 15 persons on-site is offered for 15 EUR per day (including breakfast etc.).
Shower and WC facilities will be provided for participants who will stay in tents on-site. Breakfast and lunch is offered for 10 EUR per day.
Payment must be transferred to:
Recipient – Biedrība „Annas koku skolas biedrība”
Registration number – 50008230721
IBAN – LV57UNLA0050022702093
Swift code (BIC) – UNLALV2X

When performing the payment please indicate: sap flow workshop + accommodation type + name, last name



Oskars Krišāns
phone: +371 28318566
Skype: okrisans

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