By reusing old airplanes and retrofitting them to drop seeds instead of landmines, Lockheed Martin and Aerial Reforestation Inc. have anticipated that we could plant a billion trees every year.
“Seed bombing” has become quite popular in recent years, as re-forestation takes on a value unmeasureable to money. Aerial reforestation can be used in any area that used to contain trees, and even in some deserts, and removes the requirement for individuals to perform the slow seeding process by hand.
The fastest growing trees in the world grow 3+ feet per year, once they’ve reached a standing 5 feet. Many trees reach maturity in under 10 years. This process counter-acts the negative effects of forestation, planting many hundred times the amount of trees that are cut down each year.
The current proposal retrofits unused C-130 Hercules cargo planes to drop cones of seeds. The cones “bury themselves in the soil of a deforested area at the same distance that one would want them to be if planting the trees by hand. The tree bombs don’t explode on impact but rather their casing dissolves over time and they contain a measure of fertilizer and enough moisture to ensure that the tree takes root.”
Pretty freaking cool. Maybe we can seed Mars from orbit.