Company uses drones to regenerate burned forests
Flash Forest has 25 drones that are approximately 6 feet wide. They contain 16,000 capsules each and launch them at a rate of approximately 5 per second.
The Flash Forest Ontario company, which uses drones to plant trees, is testing this innovative method in areas of northern Ontario. x27;Alberta swept away by forest fires.
Cameron Jones, co-founder and CEO of the company, explains that they fly drones with software that maps the forest to identify places where they can't plant trees. These can be rivers, rocks or potential planting areas.
With drones at around 20 to 30 meters above sea level, capsules are launched and s sink into the ground.
“As soon as it rains on them, they swell up to four times their size, which means that x27; they retain water.
—Cameron Jones, CEO, Flash Forest
The capsules can therefore grow without additional help even if there is no more rain, because they are designed to store moisture and protect the seeds from drought, adds -il.
Flash Forest has 25 drones some 6 feet wide. Each drone contains 16,000 capsules which are launched at a rate of approximately five per second.
One of the advantages of drones is that they make it possible to plant in areas that are too dangerous for traditional planters.
According to Cameron Jones, the company is focusing on burnt areas in order to put focus on fighting climate change, but also because areas where tree planters normally sow are more difficult to reach due to debris and logs.
Many wildfires are raging in Alberta
A conference to better managing forest fires
Aspen Dudzic, director of communications at the Alberta Forest Products Association, agrees.
According to her, drones provide the ability to access in places which are more difficult to reach in particular for security reasons.
“The risk is really high that a burned tree will break and fall on someone. There are also tripping hazards. This is a good example of a context where it makes sense to use a drone to reforest an area or help regenerate an area that has been burned.
—Aspen Dudzic, Alberta Forest Products Association
Ms. Dudzic believes, however, that it is too early to predict the impacts of this technology.
< p class="e-p">For now, she says, the few members who are exploring this method are just doing applied research and trying to get a sense of what might be effective here.
She planted some in the Horse River fire area in Fort McMurray. When we planted, it had been about five years and now seven [that the fire had burned]. At this point, there's a lot of undergrowth and vegetation to contend with, says Cameron Jones.
The drones have also been used in areas where there were forest fires last year. The company also finds that the bolls work best when planted incessantly.
Flash Forest wants to plant one million bolls next year, four million in two years and $16 million in three years, including some in Alberta.
By next spring, the company wants to produce 210,000 capsules a day and 1.5 million a day in about two years.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on climate change, planting trees is the fastest and cheapest way to capture carbon dioxide.
The company has received grants from two government agencies . Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) donated $1.8 million in 2021 and Natural Resources Canada donated $1.35 million in October.
Flash Forest's high-tech solution can plant trees 10 times faster than traditional methods while dramatically reducing costs, reads a statement from Natural Resources Canada.
According to Justin Riemer, CEO of Emissions Reduction Alberta, ERA-funded projects are selected through a review process.
Alberta's Boreal Forests are an integral part of the fight against climate change, he says in an email. The province has significant business potential for reforestation of disturbed lands, he adds.
Greenhouse gas reductions are estimated at between 1,450 and 4,341 tonnes of ;equivalent in carbon dioxide in Alberta, can we read in the email.