Mississauga company gets $1.3M from feds to plant 1 million trees using drones


Published October 13, 2022 at 11:28 am

flash forest mississauga
Photo by Flash Forest

A Mississauga-based company will provide drone technology to aid in Canada’s effort to plant two billion trees.

Flash Forest, a Mississauga company that uses drone technology for tree planting, will get more than $1.3 million from the federal government, Mississauga East—Cooksville MP Peter Fonseca, announced on behalf of Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources.

Flash Forest will plant more than one million trees over the next two years, Fonseca said.

“After seeing first-hand the impact of wildfire on our Canadian landscapes, we’ve never been more motivated to get trees in the ground faster,” said Bryce Jones, CEO of Flash Forest.

“This partnership will allow us to double down on our aerial reforestation efforts and ensure Canadian forests remain an integral part of the global fight against climate change.”

Jones started the company with his brother Cameron and university friend Angelique Ahlström after they saw the impact of deforestation near Victoria, B.C.

Flash Forest will use new technology including drones, advanced seed pods, automation and machine learning to plant in some of the most severe forest fire sites across Canada.

The project will use rapid drone deployment technology with AI, biological seed pods and robotic process automation.

The sites will be monitored for germination success and survival data. Once seed pods are planted, forest growth will be monitored over consecutive seasons. The data will be compared to traditional tree-planting methods.

Flash Forest aims to plant at least 10 times faster than traditional methods and significantly cut costs. This allows for rapid post-wildfire response within months of the fire, higher biodiversity and data-driven ecosystem restoration.

The announcement comes as Canada has seen a number of devastating forest fires in recent years.

In 2016, Fort McMurray had the largest wildfire evacuation in Alberta’s history. In 2018, 11,362.5 hectares burned in Parry Sound, Ontario. And British Columbia has seen several fires including a blaze that destroyed 90 per cent of Lytton in 2021.

The Flash Forest tree plantings are part of the Government of Canada’s plan to plant two billion trees over the next 10 years. The plan is one of the nature-based solutions needed to get to net-zero emissions by 2050.

“The challenges presented to us by climate change and biodiversity loss are urgent. That’s why the Government of Canada is working with Flash Forest to deploy tree-planting and monitoring drones at sites across Canada,” said Wilkinson.

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