Tree bombs

Two earlier posts here have strangely merged in real life: while we were off soil-bombing Iceland, MIT's Moshe Alamaro – of the famed anti-hurricane jet engine barges – was strafing the earth with tree seeds. It's called "aerial reforestation."

Back in 1997, Alamaro "designed conical canisters, of a starchy biodegradable material, which each contain a seedling packed in soil and nutrients. The canisters are dropped from a low-flying plane, so that they hit the ground at 200 m.p.h., and imbed themselves in the soil. Then the canisters decompose and the young trees take root. A large aircraft could drop as many as 100,000 saplings in a single flight: Alamaro's system could plant as many as a million trees in one day."

Whole forests, fired from F-16s. Stealth forestry.


Or, branching off from an earlier comment on the agri-militaristic possibilities of garden wars ("hotheaded dictators and war-time presidents decide to take turns garden-bombing each other" [see comments]), you'd get forest wars, landscape design by Cruise missile: launched from a ship in the Indian Ocean, soon there are rich deciduous forests in the hills of Afghanistan.


Aspen trees. Precision Seedlings®. Bunker busters dropped into the San Andreas fault, where genetically engineered redwood saplings grow so deep they knit the faultline back together...

Riot police discard their plastic bullets and tear gas canisters to fire baby tulip bulbs; you go home and flowers are growing from your wounds... All scars become gardens...

Or on CNN some morning we see ICBMs arcing out of the mid-Atlantic, submarine crews cheering, the hunt for a truly red October now over: new maple tree saplings have been fired – they are reforesting the eastern Canadian plateau –

Or it's a threat: disarm – or we will reforest you... Using tree bombs...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is an awesome concept that you have to imagine as reality. This could and should happen. Think of fire retardent vegetation dropped form planes in areas prone to forest fires.

October 07, 2005 11:48 AM  
Blogger Angus McIntyre said...

It's an attractive concept, but the same technology could also be misused. Imagine showering an enemy's agricultural land with quick-growing herbicide-resistant weeds. Or their cattle ranches with poisonous plants like jimsonweed.

October 17, 2005 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jimsonweed- aka datura.
now we're talking.
spreading the psychedelic message, warmonger style.
how bout spraying the countryside with marijuana seeds (for the rastas) or
RAMPANT OUTBREAK OF PSILOCYBE CUBENSIS
johhny law seeks spiritual guidance: is it aliens or atman?

November 02, 2005 2:44 AM  
Anonymous knowangel said...

It sounds a little like that Asterix book -- "Mansions of the Gods". Magic acorns and instant forests reclaiming timeshare apartment blocks.

January 18, 2006 5:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as a more realistic application, use air force training flights to reforestthe same areas they are bombing bare. The PR value alone should make it worth while.

February 26, 2006 3:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Operating aircraft releases a huge amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Most environmental scientists are advocating a drastic reduction in all flights, both domestic or international. Seems like way too much energy is wasted in the production and deployment of these tree bombs to make them worthwhile. Best to just do it by foot if possible.

July 23, 2007 4:26 PM  

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