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Canadian scientists develop plan to plant over a billion trees using drone swarms

Canadian scientists want to plant a billion new trees by 2028 using a network of drones that shoot out seed pods that grow ‘flash forests’A new Canadian plan will use drones to plant trees to fight climate changeThe group’s drones can plant up to one seed a second for one-fifth the cost The team hopes to…

Canadian scientists want to plant a billion new trees by 2028 using a network of drones that shoot out seed pods that grow ‘flash forests’

  • A new Canadian plan will use drones to plant trees to fight climate change
  • The group’s drones can plant up to one seed a second for one-fifth the cost 
  • The team hopes to plant a billion new trees by 2028

By Michael Thomsen For Dailymail.com

Published: | Updated:

A group of scientists in Canada have announced a new initiative to use drones to plant new trees cheaply and quickly in part of an effort to fight against the negative effects of climate change and deforestation.

Called Flash Forest, the team began testing its drone delivery systems in August, with a test flight that saw them successfully plant 100 trees with a drone.

Those results were so encouraging they’ve expanded their goals to use their specially designed drone systems to plant a billion new trees by 2028.

Flash Forest is a new initiative from a group of Canadian scientists who plan to use drones to  plant a billion new trees by 2028

‘Every year the planet loses 13 billion trees and regains less than half of that,’ the team’s Bryce Jones said in a fundraising video announcing the project.

‘We started Flash Forest with the goal of healing the planet’s lungs and taking that job seriously. Until that job is done well, no other job matters.’

The drones don’t just carry seeds themselves, but pods of nutrient rich soil packed around three pre-germinated seeds like a casing, according to New Atlas.

The nutrient-rich padding can keep the germinated seeds alive for up to nine months, giving them plenty of time to take root in the local environment.

Each drone will be capable of shooting around one pod per second into the ground and the system will allow one human pilot to operate as many as ten drones simultaneously.

According to Flash Forest, their current drones can plant one seed pod per second, making the target more possible than it might sound

The group says their drone system can plant trees ten times faster than what a human worker could do by hand, and for one-fifth the cost.

Subsequent test flights since August have planted over 3,100 trees with their drones, including White Spruce, White Pine, Blue Spruce, Red Maple, White Birch, Sugar Maple, Douglas Fir, and Balsam Fir.

Flash said it won’t focus exclusively on trees but other kinds of plants that compliment certain kinds of trees for ‘full ecosystem recovery.’

Flash Forest’s drone delivery system will allow one human pilot to operate as many as ten drones for highly efficient planting that’s 80 percent cheaper than hand-planting

Flash Forest uses special pods with a nutrient rich soil-like substances that encases three pre-germinated seeds that can survive for as long as nine months using only the material in the pods

This summer, a Brazilian couple showed the power of reforestation when they showed the results of their own 20 year project to bring trees back to a 1,750-acre piece of land that had previously been used for cattle grazing.

The shocking results caused previously dry rivers to flow with water while more than 170 species of birds and 30 species of mammals returned to the forest cover after having previously departed due to lack of shelter and food sources.

WHAT IS REFORESTATION?

Reforestation is an initiative that intends to replant trees in areas that have seen significant loss of forest.

Forests are one of the most efficient ways to capture and store carbon dioxide,  a common and important greenhouse gas.

Scientists believe that widespread reforestation initiatives could play a role in slowing or even reversing climate change by lowering the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. 

Reforrestation has other benefits, including moderating local temperatures, increasing biodiversity, preventing water loss, and creating new forms of food sources. 

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