Our mission is to reduce replanting costs. The majority of replanting today is done by work gangs with shovels, just as it was done in the 1940s when Oregon became the first state in the US to require replanting. At that time, the cost to plant a 6 inch tree was double the cost of harvesting a 50 year old tree.
DroneSeed sees the opportunity to reduce the costs of replanting by at least 10x. Not just in Oregon, but globally – especially in delicate biomes in Brazil, Australia, and China where expensive work gangs must be imported to remote places to dig millions of holes. Our work will be done when the cost of replanting is so affordable globally that no timber companies avoid restoring logged forests; when replanting our lost forests from the last decade is only a small line item on a country’s budget and not several times its GDP.
Our story begins with members of our team sitting in coffee shops and bars having the same conversation with different people. This conversation repeated itself like this:
Person 1: ‘There are a ton of companies focused on reducing carbon emissions.’
Person 2: ‘Is anyone removing the carbon that’s been emitted? What’s being done about that?’
Person 1: ‘Hasn’t somebody come up with a CO2 vacuum yet?’
Person 2: ‘I guess we better go plant some trees.’
Due to this conversation, CEO Grant Canary began looking at how to best get carbon out of the atmosphere. Trees it turned out were incredibly efficient. However, the economics of plantinga LOT more trees were terrible. He was horrified at how technologically-lagged the forest re-planting industry was compared to logging or…well…any other industry. The lack of technology meant replanting was extremely expensive. Planters had to be imported to remote regions for temporary work, and were given nothing but the same rudimentary tools of the 1940’s to plant: Just a bag and shovel.
In July of 2015, the first members of our team met. CEO Grant Canary asked pneumatics engineer Keith Duvall if he could build a pneumatic tree seed shooter light enough to put on a drone (aka UAV). DroneSeed was born and rapid prototyping of a pneumatic seed depositor and seed capsule began. Other members tired of being told ‘we better plant more trees’ have since enthusiastically come on board. Planting more trees is now exactly what were doing. A lot more. Faster and 10x cheaper.