Forest regeneration is super important as climate change becomes a bigger and bigger concern. Enter Project Flash Forest: An attempt to expedite forest regeneration by combining an accelerated seed germination process with specially-designed pods…and drones.
Drones to Plant Trees Faster Than Ever Before
A team of Canadian scientists and engineers has developed the Flash Forest project with the intention of planting a billion trees by 2028.
Tree-planting technology is far behind what it could be considering the technological advances we’ve made in other industries throughout the past few decades.
According to Flash Forest’s website, their innovative techniques “can plant at 10 times the normal rate and at 20% of the cost of traditional tree planting techniques.”
A spokesperson for the team told New Atlas, “We started Flash Forest with the goal of offsetting carbon emissions enough to have a significant and measurable impact on climate change within the next decade.”
How It Works
A heavy-lift drone will insert seeds into a specially-designed pod that sits at the perfect spot within the soil. The pods contain at least three pre-germinated seeds.
The pods will also contain fertilizers, mycorrhizae, and other nutritious ingredients designed to help the trees grow fast.
Innovative Planting Techniques
The team is using special techniques to ensure healthy and impressive growth for the trees.
- Seeds are sprouted before being planted
- Eight different species will be planted to encourage thriving ecosystem
- Drones fire pods into earth to ensure speed, accuracy and efficiency
The drone planting also uses less water than traditional methods. The team says the new technique can create mass quantities of plants within 30 days.
“This year we planted eight deciduous and coniferous species local to Southern Ontario,” says Flash Forest. “We can easily fill our pods with seeds of virtually any tree species (except for acorns and a few of the larger exceptions). If interested, we can also plant any flora that’s appropriate for an ecosystem in its successional period.”
Flash Forest is using Kickstarter to raise funds for the project. The funds go toward equipment that will allow the team to produce millions of seed pods. If Flash Forest proves to be a success, similar methods can be used to bring the innovation to forests all over the glove, including the Amazon Rainforests.