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Aussie Engineer Develops Drone That Plants 50B Trees per Year

Susan Graham, Australian engineer, has announced that she has produced a drone device capable of planting up to one billion tree seeds per year to combat deforestation. According to the UN, deforestation makes up 17% of the planet’s total carbon emissions, more than those produced by transportation.

More than 15 billion trees are lost each year as civilization continues to expand at breakneck speed. Though worldwide efforts plant as many as 9 billion trees each year to fight against the detrimental effects of this practice, that still leaves the planet with a loss of 6 billion trees per year. To Susan, the solution is to plant trees in areas that have previously been inaccessible.

In conjunction with BioCarbon Engineering, she has developed a means of planting trees in locations that would be otherwise unheard of, such as on the steep sides of mountains. Her drone searches the area for suitable plots to sustain tree growth before launching the seeds into the soil.

Officials at BioCarbon Engineering declare that this device works at 20% of the cost of hand-planting trees. It also works ten times faster than traditional tree-planting methods.

The current drone design allows for one seed to be planted every second, which can lead to the planting of as many as 100,000 trees per day. According to Lauren Fletcher, the CEO of BioCarbon Engineering, 60 teams doing this will result in one billion new trees planted annually.

Abandoned areas of New South Wales have been the testing sites for this drone, as they are currently in need of re-vegetation. A second drone is being developed to help create a wider disbursement area for these seeds to increase efficiency and productivity.

Read more
about how Graham and BioCarbon Engineering are tackling deforestation-one seed at a time.