Seed Bombers Can Plant An Entire Forest Of 900,000 Trees In One Day!
Seed bombing or aerial reforestation is a farming technique where trees and other crops are planted by being thrown or dropped from an airplane or flying drone. The “seed bombs” are typically compressed bundles of soil containing live vegetation, which are ready to grow as soon they hit the ground.
This is something that can be done on both an industrial and DIY scale, depending on the property and the situation.
The earliest known record of seed bombing goes back to 1930, when planes were used to reforest certain areas in the mountains of Honolulu.
Equipment installed in the huge C-130 transport aircraft used by the military for laying carpets of landmines across combat zones has been adapted to deposit the trees in remote areas including parts of Scotland. An idea, originally from a former RAF pilot, Jack Walters, of Bridgnorth, Shropshire, has been developed by the US manufacturer Lockheed Martin Aerospace so that 900,000 young trees can be planted in a day.
Seed bombing is also widely used in Africa; where they are put in barren or simply grassy areas. With technology expanding, the contents of a seed bomb are now placed in a biodegradable container and “bombed” grenade-style onto the land. As the sprout grows, the container biodegrades into the soil. The process is usually done as a large-scale project with hundreds dropped in a single area at any one time. Provided enough water, adequate sunlight, and low competition from existing flora and fauna, seed-bombed barren land could be host to new plants in as little as a month.
In 1987, Lynn Garrison created the Haitian Aerial Reforestation Project (HARP) in which tons of seed would be scattered from specially modified aircraft. The seeds would be encapsulated in an absorbent material. This coating would contain fertilizer, insecticide/animal repellent and, perhaps a few vegetable seeds. Haiti has a bimodal rainy season, with precipitation in spring and fall. The seeds are moistened a few days before the drop, to start germination. Tons of seed can be scattered across areas in the mountains, inaccessible to hand-planting projects. Another project idea was to use C-130 aircraft and altering them to drop biodegradable cones filled with fertilizer and saplings over hard-to-access areas.