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Tree planting drones keep deforestation at bay

Published at: 28 May 2015

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are tackling industrial scale deforestation that destroys 26 billion trees each year by dropping seed bombs into affected areas

Changing the world... One billion trees at a time from zee on Vimeo.

Biocarbon Engineering, a startup  led by former NASA engineer Lauren Fletcher plans to plant one billion trees a year, using multipurpose drones to fight deforestation.
The world currently replants approximately 15 billion trees per year, using mostly manual tree  planting methods which is both costly and time-consuming. This method partly explains the worrying shortfall in reforestation.

Now, Fletcher, under the umbrage of BioCarbon Engineering is proposing an alternative way to plant trees through multi-purpose drones, which could see a record number of one billion trees being planted a year. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) will first map the terrain of affected areas and then carry out precision planting of peregrinated seeds. It is expected that two operators will employ multiple UAVs, which can shoot the seeds at a rate of 10 pellets per minute, totalling 36,000 trees a day. The seeds would be covered with a nutritious hydrogel, making them more likely to flourish and BioCarbon Engineering hopes to collaborate with local reforestation organisations to ensure they satisfy the biodiversity needs of each region, restoring ecosystems rather than creating fragile monocultures. The startup suggests that their method could cost 85 percent less than traditional methods.

Image credits: BioCarbon Engineering

Are there other ways that drones could be used in farming and gardening?

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