Drones to plant billion trees

planting trees, using drones

Drones plant thousands of times more seeds and only needs one worker to pilot multiple drones

Drones to plant a billion trees?

According tot Lauren Fletcher, former engineer at NASA and CEO of BioCarbon Engineering, this is possible.

Flatcher has developed drones that will carry pre-germinated seeds, dropping them in pods from 3 meters above the ground. With drones, he claims to be able to replant 36,000 trees a day.

That’s about one billion trees per year at 15% of the costs of hand plantation.

Coated seeds

The seeds are coated with a nutritions hydrogel, which Fletcher believes will ensure much more effective seeding than traditional airborne attempts. Though it is not as effective as hand planting on a seed by seed basis, it has the capability to plant thousands of times more seeds and only needs one worker to pilot multiple drones.

As upwards of 26 billion trees are cut down every year and only 15 billion are replanted, we’re facing a deficit.

As seed bombing has taken on a new meaning, airplanes are retrofitted to drop seeds instead of bombs; the potential for replantation is vast.

Drones prototype

A prototype wowed crowds at the Drones for Good competition in the United Arab Emirates and the company hopes to have fully functioning models by the end of the summer.

Tropical deforestation accounts for about 10 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gasses, emitting around three billion tons of carbon dioxide: equivalent to 600 million cars’ worth of pollution every year, according to UCSUSA.

Indonesia alone has the fastest rate of deforestation, losing 1.1 million hectares of forest annually, larger than Australia’s Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.


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