A Canadian startup has set the lofty goal of using drones to plant 1 billion trees by 2028 – and in the process, the company hopes to revolutionise the manner in which the process of reforestation is tackled.
As the world continues to witness warming climate conditions, there has been a frightful uptick in massive wildfires from California to the Amazon rain forest and the Australian bush.
As the world’s forests burn to the ground, this creates a dilemma not only for wildlife habitats but also for us humans – because trees help absorb and store carbon dioxide, they are one of our basic lines of defense against global warming.
Flash Forest plans to deploy its revolutionary new technology to identify the best planting sites on fire-scorched land just north of Toronto where it can begin firing specially designed seedpods into the ground. The pods consist of germinated seeds, fertilizer, and a proprietary blend of “secret” ingredients, according to Newsweek. A spray drone would then cover the area with nutrients such as nitrogen, helping the seedlings to grow, before mapping drones are sent later to monitor progress.
The company claims that its drones can sharply increase the speed and efficiency of planting trees. The company said:
“Flash Forest is a reforestation company that can plant at 10 times the normal rate and at 20 percent of the cost of traditional tree planting techniques. With drone engineering, we bring new levels of accuracy, precision and speed to the reforestation industry.”
And with researchers claiming that the Earth has room for over 1 trillion additional trees that can be planted across the globe, Flash Forest could help change the way any worldwide planting initiative would take shape. For Ahlstrom, it’s pretty simple math. She said:
“I think that drones are absolutely necessary to hit the kind of targets that we’re saying are necessary to achieve some of our carbon sequestration goals as a global society (and) when you look at the potential for drones, we plant 10 times faster than humans.”