Wednesday, October 20, 2010

From Weapons into Trees

Imagine forests growing through the carpet planting of seedlings by C-130's. Ironically the planes known for planting fields of landmines can now be used to restore barren landscapes.

The research has been done and the technology developed says a spokesman for Aerial Forestation Inc. "There are 2,500 C-130 transport aircraft in 70 countries, so the delivery system for planting forests is widely available - mostly mothballed in military hangers waiting for someone to hire them.

The possibilities are amazing. We can fly at 1,000ft at 130 knots planting more than 3,000 cones a minute in a pattern across the landscape - just as we did with landmines, but in this case each cone contains a sapling. That's 125,000 trees for each sortie and 900,000 trees in a day."

The tree cones are pointed and designed to bury themselves in the ground at the same depth as if they had been planted by hand. They contain fertilizer and a material that soaks up surrounding moisture, watering the roots of the tree. The metal tips of the cones also biodegrade as soon as they hit the soil.

The Scottish mountains, the Black Forest in Germany, semi arid areas in Africa.... it's exciting to think about what barren settings throughout the world could be restored.

This theme of reforestation also brings to mind Jean Giono's wonderful account of "The Man Who Planted Trees."

Via the Guardian , Tree Hugger