Drone projects don't get much more ambitious than the one envisioned by Flash Forest, which plans to plant a billion trees by 2028—helping save the planet in the process. The Canadian startup says its drones, which can identify the best planting sites before dropping specially designed seed pods, can each plant up to 20,000 trees a day, while a human can manage 1,500 a day at best, Fast Company reports. The company, which aims to improve the technology to the point where two pilots can plant 100,000 trees in a day, is planting 40,000 trees this month in an area north of Toronto scorched by a wildfire. Later this year, it plans to plant 300,000 trees in Hawaii. The company says its technology will be the key to restoring forests, as well as to countering climate change.
Flash Forest says the pods contain germinated seeds, fertilizer, and some "secret" ingredients, reports Newsweek. The company says that where the terrain requires it, its drones can use a firing device to shoot pods into the soil. "It allows you to get into trickier areas that human planters can't," co-founder Angelique Ahlstrom tells Fast Company. "I think that drones are absolutely necessary to hit the kind of targets that we're saying are necessary to achieve some of our carbon sequestration goals as a global society. When you look at the potential for drones, we plant 10 times faster than humans." AirSeed, one of several similar companies, plans to use its drones to replant areas of Australia devastated by last year's wildfires, per Reset. (Read more reforestation stories.)