A start-up based in Toronto, Canada, known as Flash Forest is planning to use technology to change the face of reforestation. They will use aerial planter drones, equipped with shovels, to plant trees. One drone is equal to about 10 humans. The goal is to plant 1bn trees before 2028.
The planter drones are specially modified by the company. They inject tree seeds that have rapid germination rates into the dirt. This combination of ecological science, technology, and software outperforms any traditional efforts of tree planting. Moreover, the method has an 80% lower cost than traditional methods.
How Do The Planter Drones Work?
Planter drones are heavy-lift models which are modified with a firing system that is pneumatic. This lets them inject the seeds into the dirt at the optimum depth. As a result, the team can get into areas that are inaccessible to human planters.
Each planting pod is crafted by hand. They contain a minimum of 3 pre-germinated seeds, fertilizers, mycorrhizae, and some more ingredients that plants love. The team keeps the other ingredients a secret.
The process by which the trees are planted begins with Flash Forest deploying drones to map and assess the region. The ideal spots for planting are identified via software that looks at existing plants and the type of soil. Then a planter drone swarm starts dropping the planting pods with pinpoint precision. The firing device, which is pneumatic, is especially useful in mangrove forests or steep terrain. It allows the planter drones to inject the pods deeper.
After the planting is done, the process is tracked by the team. Drones for spraying are then deployed to provide the seedlings with nutrients. One more drone is then used to keep track of the growth of the plant. Since seeds are sprouted prior to planting, the growth is more effective. In 2020, the technology was able to plant a maximum of 20,000 pods daily. Eventually, two drone pilots will plant 100,000 in a single day.
Other places in the world are also using technology to tackle deforestation. In Brazil, a local tribe uses technology to track illegal logging in the Amazons.