Use Of Aerial Seed Bombers And Drones For Reforestation

23 Mar, 2020

Aerial seed bombing is an emerging trend being adopted to plant trees over a large area. Aerial reforestation is the process of dropping pointed containers with saplings by aircrafts that can plant nearly one million trees every single day. The canisters that are dropped are made of biodegradable material and contain a seedling packed in soil and nutrients. These are designed to be dropped from a low-flying plane so that the canisters hit the ground at 200 mph and embed themselves in the soil. This type of process can help forest owners and other log suppliers to plant more trees in less time so that trees can regenerate and be used for future logging activities. For instance, in 2018, Kenya used aerial seeding to regenerate Mau Forest, and Thailand has made plans to begin with a five-year pilot project focused on aerial reforestation methods to boost reforestation by planting trees in forests that have deteriorated.

The use of drones is also gaining popularity in the forestry and logging products market, because they can provide aerial images which show a detailed picture of the forest, providing comprehensive insights and analysis. The detailed images provide photographic insights of dense forests, measure volumes by accurate tree counts, map harvest units and post-harvest wastes, assess health and damage of each tree, learn site-specific fertilization treatments, and provide fire occurrence detection. For example, Domtar, the world’s second-largest producer of uncoated paper in the world, and Stimson Lumber, a wood product company in the U.S, have both incorporated the use of drones in managing their forests.

The use of such technologies will aid the growth of the global forestry and logging market, whichis expected to grow from nearly $510 billion in 2019 to more than $584.5 billion in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.5%.

The use of big data in forestry is another such technology being adopted by companies in the forestry and logging market. With the help of big data, it has now become possible to predict terrains and better manage forests. Sensors are attached with harvesters to collect data on distances, temperatures, humidity, air pressure, velocity, light, soil conditions, geography, location, and water content of snow. Big data creates prediction models after analyzing the large amount of collected data. Prediction models indicate the best time to go to a forest as it collects real time data on weather, soil, and air quality. For instance, weather data combined with changes in elevation indicates the areas of rainwater accumulation after a rain shower. Also, big data helps to tackle illegal wood trading. Therefore, with this type of information, forestry and logging activities can be planned more precisely.

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