By Montana Grant

Posted: December 11, 2021

Drones are being developed to become tree planting Forest Rangers. After so many recent forest fires, there is certainly a reason to request Airborne Rangers!

Fires have ravaged our nation and destroyed much needed forests. Watersheds end up getting damaged as well since there are no trees with root systems to keep the soils in place. Some forests are steep and remote.

A walking forest tree planter must carry and plant one sapling at a time. The energy to walk up steep grades makes it even tougher, dangerous, and costlier.

Aerial Drones are now being equipped to shoot fertilized pods/ seeds into the exposed soil. Pneumatic guns are attached with a load of pods as ammunition. Each pod is filled with 3 fertilized/ germinated seeds. What ever tree does best is loaded into the pods.

This automated reforestation drone can plant 1 billion trees in 8 years. The drones can be programmed to fly a grid and shoot the pods where needed at the proper spacing. Once out of pods, the drone is programmed to return to the remote pilot for a new load of seeds. 100,000 trees a week can be planted by one drone, day, and night, in most weather.

The pods also contain nutrients and fertilizer to help jump start the new plantings. Later the drones can inspect and fertilize trees if needed, all while the remote pilot monitors from a safe distance.

Automated reforestation is 80% cheaper than manual or other mechanical planting. Planting can be done soon after a fire or after a timber harvest. A diversity of trees can also be distributed to help create wildlife and habitat.

Roots have returned thanks to Airborne Rangers!

Montana Grant

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