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Planting 1 billion trees by drone?

At CreativeJigsaw we love that we're able to use a drone commercially, something enabled by our license from the Civil Aviation Authority. It allows us to obtain aerial images that add an extra dimension to our productions when requested by our clients (and also logistically possible). We leave it there though - at images that is. But drones are increasingly popping up more and more for applications beyond filming and photographing from the air, from aerial mapping to delivering goods ordered online. Here's a particularly niche one though...

Flash Forest

A venture calling itself Flash Forest is intending to use drones to re-forest huge swathes of land in a short space of time - our headline above is taken from their website and adding an extra one thousand million trees in the next 8 years is certainly not without ambition!

A 7 billion+ shortfall every year

As they say on their home page though, every year there are 13 billion trees lost across the world and we regain fewer than half that number. By that measure their 8 year time-span gives us a net deficit of about 56 billions trees, that's disregarding the billions lost in previous years, making the one billion target start to seem a bit like a drop in the ocean!

What's not in doubt is that we need to start doing something about this situation sooner rather than later. It'll take a multi-pronged approach that must surely involve massively reducing the rate of tree loss, with efforts like this one to re-forest just one part of the mix.

But why drones?

Well, Flash Forest say their drone approach means they can plant at 10 times the normal rate and at only 20% of the cost of traditional tree planting techniques. Those are impressive figures.

Can drones dig?

You might wonder how a drone can dig a hole and plant a tree but in fact the technique involves firing pods of nutrient rich soil packed around three pre-germinated seeds, like a casing. 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 a human pilot to operate as many as ten drones simultaneously.

It's clear that Unmanned Aerial Vehicles / UAVs (drones to you and me) are going to be playing greater and greater roles in multiple applications right across the globe over the coming years. But beyond getting your Amazon delivery to you in lightning quick time, some of them might just help save the planet.

You can find out more about Flash Forest at

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