This startup is restoring charred forests using tree-planting drones

Forest fires can occur naturally, cleaning away excess undergrowth and making way for new trees to take root. But circumstances like climate change and forest monocultures are exacerbating the problem. And while “acres burned” makes headlines, “acres replanted” struggles to keep up.

The arduous process of reforestation involves up to three years to get seedlings from a nursery since the little guys need time to grow. Then, once the trees have grown a bit, a ground crew has to be formed to go and outperform the back-breaking work of planting trees in charred forests. The whole thing costs a lot of time and energy, but some mission-driven startups are working to tackle the issue using new technologies.  Last month we featured Canadian company Flash Forest, and now a new Seattle startup named DroneSeed is swooping into the business of reforesting burned land.

As the name might imply, DroneSeed is on a mission to restore forests by replanting trees from the air using tree-planting drones and a seed puck containing “the secret sauces.” The founder of DroneSeed won’t divulge what is in the secret sauce, but he says it allows them to skip the nursery phase and move right into distributing seeds onto the mountain. The puck acts like a seedbed — providing nutrients and antifungals so the seedling can thrive. It protects the seed from its most significant threats: rodents, fungus, and drying out.

To be able to plant little trees, the drones had to be upgraded and outfitted with cameras, magic seed pucks, and an AI-powered brain. The cameras scout the aftermath of a fire, use AI to map objects and terrain in great detail, including flora types, and then distribute the seed pucks in the perfect locations. The entire process cuts down on manpower, time, and danger (as low-flying helicopters that spray herbicide can be very dangerous).

Solution News Source

This startup is restoring charred forests using tree-planting drones

Forest fires can occur naturally, cleaning away excess undergrowth and making way for new trees to take root. But circumstances like climate change and forest monocultures are exacerbating the problem. And while “acres burned” makes headlines, “acres replanted” struggles to keep up.

The arduous process of reforestation involves up to three years to get seedlings from a nursery since the little guys need time to grow. Then, once the trees have grown a bit, a ground crew has to be formed to go and outperform the back-breaking work of planting trees in charred forests. The whole thing costs a lot of time and energy, but some mission-driven startups are working to tackle the issue using new technologies.  Last month we featured Canadian company Flash Forest, and now a new Seattle startup named DroneSeed is swooping into the business of reforesting burned land.

As the name might imply, DroneSeed is on a mission to restore forests by replanting trees from the air using tree-planting drones and a seed puck containing “the secret sauces.” The founder of DroneSeed won’t divulge what is in the secret sauce, but he says it allows them to skip the nursery phase and move right into distributing seeds onto the mountain. The puck acts like a seedbed — providing nutrients and antifungals so the seedling can thrive. It protects the seed from its most significant threats: rodents, fungus, and drying out.

To be able to plant little trees, the drones had to be upgraded and outfitted with cameras, magic seed pucks, and an AI-powered brain. The cameras scout the aftermath of a fire, use AI to map objects and terrain in great detail, including flora types, and then distribute the seed pucks in the perfect locations. The entire process cuts down on manpower, time, and danger (as low-flying helicopters that spray herbicide can be very dangerous).

Solution News Source

SIGN UP

TO GET A Free DAILY DOSE OF OPTIMISM


We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously. Privacy Policy