20 Million Trees from the sky!

in #science2 years ago

Mark Rober is a famous science & engineering YouTuber that worked as an engineer for NASA and Apple. He is really entertaining and has a great way of explaining complicated topics easily.

He doesn't post much (about once a month) but the videos are always great.

One of his recent videos Mr. Beast asked for help to plant 20,000,000 trees to celebrate his 20,000,000 subscribers.

Initially, they attempted to do this manually with around 10 people and they managed to plant around 300 trees by the end of the day.

Mr. Beast then puts out a tweet to get thousands of volunteers.

Mark Rober decides to look for ways to plant trees more efficiently, from the sky is the most ideal solution.

I particularly like his explanation of how trees get their mass.

He explains that trees obviously cannot get their mass from their soil, as they grow the soil levels remain the same. He goes on and explains how the trees pull the Carbon molecules out of the Co2 in the air and leave the o2. I love this explanation and the visuals he uses to describe it. It makes the entire concept so simple and obvious.

He later gets in touch with a company called DroneSeed who builds a drone that is able to plant trees from the sky. This is where things get really interesting.

These drones can fly over any terrain, regardless of how difficult and scatters a payload that offers the best chance of survivability.

This payload is really clever and consists of three parts.

First part is a group of seeds for trees that are commonly found in this area of the world.

The 2nd is a fertilizer to help the tree grow, poop.

Third, is the most interesting component, ghost pepper. This acts as a deterrent to wildlife from eating the seeds.

Multiple groups of these payloads are loaded into a delivery container on to each drone.

Before being deployed, an initial scan is made of the area with a mapping drone and a computer then creates a flight plan for all the drones to follow.

Why is this important?

NASA has a website that tracks the Co2 changes over the years. By measuring the air pockets in frozen ice, they can trackback thousands of years.

As you can see above, the Co2 has been climbing rapidly since the third industrial revolution.

Mark Rober and other YouTubers like Mr. Beast, Science Every Day, Zach King, and many more are getting together to help make the dream of planting 20,000,000 trees in 2020 happen under the name of #teamtrees. They worked with the Arbor Foundation to get to the point where every $1 donated would plant one tree.

Here is the good news


They managed to successfully plant over 20,000,000 trees and it only took two months!

It is absolutely amazing how successful this project was and how many people came together to make it happen.

It isn't too late to donate though, you can almost never have too many trees and we are tearing down trees every day to make room for our population while reducing our natural CO2 fighting counterparts.

If you want to donate, you can visit their website teamtrees and donate as little as $5.

All images are from Mark Rober's YouTube video


I planted trees before, and I enjoy them for many reasons.
Many of these 20 million trees will die long before maturity, if the seeds sprout at all.
Most of these areas look like they were recently deforested for the production of 'renewable resources' and 'green energy'.
There are legitimate concerns that publicity stunts to raise awareness and take action are not a particularly effective means of solving issues.

You say that, and I also ask that question. AND YET the Thai government has reforested HUGE areas (millions of acres) dropping seeds into previously logged and difficult to access areas. It is the nature of seeds that a flower produces hundreds in the hope of the one reaching maturity. The technique has been used for almost 10 years here with great results, although they do it slightly differently, and make little "seed bombs" first.

My original point was Mr. Beast didn't plant anywhere close to 20million trees. They planted 1000 seedlings and scattered around 19,998,000 seeds. Facts are facts. We have no clue about the success rate, but we do know that 20million trees will not offset very much human activity even if all of them reach maturity.

A young forest, growing up from drone-deposited seeds, here in northern Thailand, is still a few years away

Cool, but the results in this article are simply people getting excited about a nice-sounding idea with no results. They are simply stating that shrinkingly around seeds from drones is much faster than planting seedlings, and there is room for improvement. I'm not going to argue against that.

I've planted seedlings before, 95% died before reaching maturity. Even the professionals go at a 6:1 ratio for easy to grow native species. I can imagine sprinkling seeds from drones results in a failure rate of closer to 99.9%.

They mention using different methods. Perhaps planting a few trees of various sizes and preparing the land somehow to encourage regrowth would be best.

The professionals have been experimenting with reforestation with intense economic interest for decades. They should be teaching people who don't do this about sustainable forest management. However, the problem is most people clearing forests simply want them gone to use the land more productively.

We are focusing on the wrong end of the problem here.

Planting trees is cool, but context matters...A lot.

ct4 bk 1.jpg

 2 years ago 

It is well know and even depicted above it goes up and down a lot. But it is clear the highs are getting much higher.

Relative ...to history? (when herbaceous species were far more numerous and the planet was far greener)
More CO2 (plant food), more plants...

This is really an amazing work. Planting trees isn't something that will be easy in my part of the world where you have to pay for everything. Many do not understand that we will cease to exist without trees.

Thanks for sharing this.

Mr Beast is an absolute beast. His business model is amazing.

Around 2 months ago, the company where my wife is working for did also a plant action here in Belgium. And for each tree planted here and a tree was also planted in Africa.
I guess they did plant 20K trees in one day on 2 different locations.

Talk bout preserving life, what a great initiative!

Good job I love trees

That is indeed a cool action. Rehived.

I checked out Mark Rober’s YouTube based on your recommendation. I think he has some really marvellous contents. I’ve come in contact with Mr Beast videos before. The #teamtree initiative is one I’d engage in, I’d try to plant one before the end of next week. We need to make the world green again. Amazing work you all are doing.

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great work that is really good continues to be successful huh

I love both the technology behind this AND the big thinking that said, "This is gonna take forever!" and changed up the method instead of scaling back the target. 😍 The Thai government (I live in Chiang Mai in the North) also tackles reforestation by seeding large areas with light aircraft.

This tree planing target seems soooo huge and yet it is literally only a drop in the bucket of what's needed.

Would be fascinating to come back in 10 years and see how many of the 20 MIL survived - and thrived - and how that informs planting for the future.

Great post.

What I'd love is to hear where these trees are being planted. Are they areas that are going to be untouched in the long term? How do they find land for planting when so much of our land is "government property" with regulations on what can be done with it? Do they guerrilla plant without permission? Extending on the current forests and jungles to try and expand them back to what they were would be ideal, but they were cut back for a reason and that usually means something is being done on that land. Can it be planted upon again?

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