This startup wants to plant a billion trees using drones

What: A Canadian startup is aiming at using drones to plant one billion trees by 2028.

Flash Forest a “drone reforestation company” is currently raising funds on Kickstarter. At the time of writing, it has pledges worth just over $44,000 from almost 1,000 backers.

How: The company says its technology is capable of boosting tree-planting efficiency 10 times compared to the traditional” bag and shovel” techniques while slashing costs to 20% of what it usually takes today.

To do so, it uses modified drones “to fire rapidly germinating tree seeds into the soil” with the end goal of “accelerating global reforestation efforts.” Flash Forest technology gathers data to pre-select the most appropriate sites to plant a tree. Then its drones spray special pods containing seeds and nutrients into the earth.

Image credit: Flash Forest

So what: The company cites data that puts the annual carbon footprint in North America at 20 metric tons per person. This can be offset by planting 275 trees, it says.

Its drones can plant at a rate of one pod per second, with a daily capacity of 20,000 trees per drone, Flash Forest says.