Seattle-based DroneSeed uses SUAS to reforest areas destroyed by forest fires. Their 8-foot drones fly in groups of up to five, using pre-programmed routes and dropping “seed pots” into areas where they have the best chance of growing again. Each SUAS can hold up to 57 pounds of seminal vessels. Grant Canary, CEO of DroneSeed, told CNN Business, “We’re six times faster than a tree planter with a shovel doing about two acres a day, and we’ve cut supply chains [for getting new seeds in the ground] dropped from three years to three months. “Earlier this year, DroneSeed received exemptions from the FAA to fly over and replant burned forests. The company is already restoring forests affected by the August fire in California and Oregon’s Holiday Farm Fire, and is investigating other fire-affected areas along the west coast where its technology could be used.
DroneSeed’s seed pots contain fertilizers, nutrients, and pesticides that help the seeds take root more effectively. “The vessel is a dry fiber and therefore absorbs moisture. It soaks up and expands, ”Canary said. “This helps prevent dehydration or dehydration, which is a major cause of sperm mortality.” That includes pepper: “We don’t want the seed to be eaten, so … really super flavorful pepper is one of the ingredients,” Canary added. “Squirrels eat it, they get the message and they say ‘no thanks’.”
DroneSeed claims it can grow up to 140 trees per acre based on trials in New Zealand and Washington state. “Now, with this fire season, we have unprecedented demand,” Canary said.