Drones To Plant 40,000 Trees This Month With One Billion Goal Set For 2028

by Conscious Reminder

The world is reeling under the effects of global warming, along with the latest tragedy of the novel coronavirus.

While the victims of the virus are easier to identify, global warming and climate change have similar drastic effects on the lives of millions of people.

Featured Image Credit: Flash Forest

As deforestation keeps climbing, many organizations and nations across the globe are trying to plant new trees to replace the old. If the earth does not get to breathe easy, how will the humans on it survive?

We all know how trees absorb and store CO2 and are our best hope for fighting global warming. To keep the fight steady, a start-up from Canada has come up with an ambitious plan. Flash Forest has set a target for 2028- planting one billion trees using drones!

Flash Forest is trying to revolutionize the process of reforestation. It is usually a time consuming and labor-intensive job, which makes it expensive. With technology by our side, not only will we save some money, but actually plant more trees in the same time.

Take this for example. While a human can plant 1500 seed pods in a day by hand, the drones with Flash Forest at present can plant 10,000 to 20,000 in a day. The cost, with drones, will be 20% cheaper than manual planting traditions.

The company is using its novel technology to scan fire-ravaged land north of Toronto for the best tree-planting sites. Once located, drones will be used to fire specially designed seedpods into the ground. Newsweek mentions that Flash Forest’s seedpods contain germinating seeds, fertilizer, and a special blend of secret ingredients.

Spray drones will be used next to spread nitrogen and other nutrients to the seeds. And finally, mapping drones will be used to monitor the progress of the whole mission. This month itself, Flash Forest plans to plant 40,000 trees in Toronto. And they will put another 300,000 trees in Hawaii later in the year.

A study published in Science explains how planting 1 billion trees around the world can remove two-thirds of CO2 emissions. This equals 25% of atmospheric CO2, which will create a natural means to capture and store emissions in affordable ways.

Featured Image Credit: Flash Forest

Flash Forest claims their drones can increase both the speed and efficiency of tree planting: “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.”

With each passing day, the temperature keeps rising along with pollution and damage. Every moment we delay significantly endangers our future on this planet. Researchers are wary that if significant steps to cool the earth are not taken immediately, we might cross the point of no return sooner than all forecasts.

Co-founder of Flash Forest, Angelique Ahlstrom says this is why we need modern technology at this hour:

“There are a lot of different attempts to tackle reforestation. But despite all of them, they’re still failing, with a net loss of 7 billion trees every year.”

Ahlstrom acknowledges planting trees cannot be the only option to stop this crisis. But they hope their special equipment and strategy will help us buy some more time to save the earth.

Flash Forest is using 4 species of plants for now and plans to move up to 8. They are aware of the importance of biodiversity and how it aids the whole process, an aspect often ignored by other similar initiatives.

“We very much prioritize biodiversity, so we try to plant species that are native to the land as opposed to monocultures.

“We work with local seed banks and also take into account that the different changes that climate change brings with temperature rise, anticipating what the climate will be like in five to eight years when these trees are much older and have grown to a more mature stage, and how that will affect them.”

The company has already planted 469 White Spruce, 344 White Pine, 327 Blue Spruce, 225 Red Maple, 790 White Birch, 621 Sugar Maple, 131 Douglas Fir, and 199 Balsam.

Scientists have found that we can plant over a trillion new trees with the space we have left now across the globe. And Flash Forest’s approach, technology, and strategy could change the future of such initiatives. Ahlstrom is confident in their use of drones:

“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.”

Image Credits: Flash Forest

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