Tree farming and harvesting with Farmbot

I am already sure the Farmbot,with addition of appropriate data could start seedlings and perhaps even get them ready for tree planting in the bush where they have clear cut and left the land such a mess!

Corporations are such greedy lying bastards at times…

I wanted to share something that will enable scaling the farm bot idea…

When I first saw this robot, it got me thinking about where I live(Vancouver island)… The bc government allowed logging companies in to the center of the island to log and supposedly replant… There are whole mountains that were stripped of trees. The stumps were left there and unwanted trees were left where they fell! It was devastating to see this… No replanting was ever done!. It was basically planet rape!

Those mountains are still sitting in the same condition. No longer are there trees there… Animals can’t survive there. I saw this in the late 60’s… When I was riding my dirt bike around. I went out there again a couple of years ago… It’s still the same. The bc government has chained the roads and prosecutes people who go out there. They hide what was done!

(btw… those same companies are now in South America doing the same thing there!!!) There is a movie you might want to see, if you haven’t seen it already… do yourself a favor and watch the movie called “the Corporation” it explains how this kind of thing can happen! And it is still happening!

Anyway I digress…
I decided that what we needed was a way to cut trees from the middle of the Forrest. Replant the tree that was taken, and not require roads or helicopters… Or other machinery that rips and ruins! Choosing one tree here and one tree there to prevent the kind of rape that was done here!

In the late 70’s early 80’s I saw an article on a robot platform… I realized it would meet the conditions if it was scaled up, converted to hydraulics with a propane engine supplying power(nowadays hybrid electric/propane) and programmed to work in tandem with another one, to lift and carry the cut tree out of the forest! The robot design was apparently abandoned because it was scary looking, and perhaps the calculation speed was too slow at that time?


http://www.theoldrobots.com/odex.html

Farmbot is an amazing idea! and could be extended to accomplish the tree planting/harvesting thing as well!

Anyway…the open source Farmbot is a good place to put out there the tree farming idea! I’d like to offer it if it seems useful to you.

I hate to say it, but this sounds like comparing apples and oranges.

Prepping tube stock true that would be something that a increased size farmbot setup in time might be help with. Really when I hear places like the USA have not had proper replanting I really wonder were the regulators are. The equipment you use for harvesting trees by machines other than a few attachment differences you use those machine to replant.

Also there is a nasty little problem. If you just cut out one tree and plant another tree in it place the new tree can fail to grow due to lack of light. So the one tree here and the one tree there does not work.


Selective group logging can be done with fairly min damage by ground based machine including the replanting. Basically constantly moving roads method. You log like you are creating a small road then replant that area this allows enough light in for new trees to grow and enough weather protection from the trees on each side of the cut path so new trees grow well, Enough access to get what you are cutting in and out. And as long as the pattern is planned well enough by the time you recut that road the trees there would be back to respectable size.

Problem is these correct methods are not new creating a robot to replant really will not improve things thinking moving roads method will in a lot of areas naturally heal over any how due to mature seed trees left on both sides. Yes planting seedlings in moving roads method is just having more control what varieties will be there in future(helping future logging yields) so not in fact required to fix the fact trees were removed. Nature to a point is great at healing damage.

Areas that have been clear cut are a lot harder to repair has exceed what Nature will self repair. Land Care Australia replanting areas that were historically clear cut in attempts to restore them have had as high as 1000 to 1 planting requirement rate. Yes 1000 items planted to get 1 tree successfully growing to size because the soil state had to be restored first. A lot of critical soil elements can in fact be lost after clear cutting so a lot of different plantings required before you can even start putting trees back. Something that is done here with forestry they are mandated to replant but due to prior damage for every 1 plant they buy to replant to obey regulation 2 others go into repair work so is possible to turn it around if government gets serous about enforcing regulations on methods.

Really I put this under people foolish wishes about machines/robots being solution. Machines including robots are only solutions if 1 of 2 things are meet

  1. is directly profitable somehow
  2. its mandated and enforced by government.
    No matter how much you attempted to design a robot to selectively cut if a logging company programmed it to clear cut it would. Machines exist today that are design to selectively group cut and you see videos of them being used to clear cut what they were not in fact designed to-do and since logging companies do this with human driven machines they will do it with with robots as well. Solution to clear cutting is regulation problem is I have no clue how to get that globally and is fairly much outside the scope of this groups goals.

If you don’t kill off the mycelium in the soil, it will feed the young seedlings!
Clear cutting trees kills the mycelium and ruins any chance of it helping the seedlings… It may even preclude replanting a clear cut forest! Unless you start the mycelium first and allow it to re establish the network
Certainly the diversity is gone!

I don’t know if you’ve ever been to the redwoods, or a untouched old growth forest. There are trees in a dozen or more ages…they grow on top of stumps, fallen trunks rocke, each other! Lol!. The ground cover is every where. You can smell the mycelium and witness the small trees growing wherever they can! Usually in contact with the underground structure!

That is not foolish! It’s nature at its best. And it is something I and most people love! It is why the Farmbot is turning out to be such a success, even though it is barely conceived! I haven’t heard yet, but it seems it will pass the million mark in a week! Wow! That’s impressive! Do we really need to restrict it?

The profit from Farmbot is not really money! It’s quality of life, something we rarely get from corporations.

Just just because corporations have no conscience is no reason to quit working toward what makes the world a better place! And perhaps it’s time we legislated conscience in the machine?

Lol…"it’s just a tree!"

So True. The solutions we make must be profitable.

1000 to 1 plantings are required at times to rebuild the mycelium and everything else in the soil after clear cutting at times to get tree back. So you have to get 999 plants going before you can plant first tree in some degraded areas. And the degraded areas are likely not be able to start seeds directly. This is where I see farmbot could fall into the picture helping to prep those plants in a nursery.

Selective group logging systems don’t cause the environmental death so allow natural to repopulate the area.

I have been in natural untouched old growth forest and I have been in forest that were selectively logged by moving road method for over 60 years before being closed to logging 30years. Ok this forest the natural tree life is only 80 years(sandy ground equals them falling down at that) but you cannot tell now what area is the untouched and what area over the 60 years of logging had every tree removed in a pattern. The loggers were logging the area on the plan they would log it forever.

So particular forest could be logged forever without harm as long as it done right. Some forests like redwoods might be totally not profitable to attempt to log properly due to how long between making a road though the forest having to wait until you can make another one to allow effective regrowth. Making robots/machines will not change the viability values.

Problem is mandating proper planing and restrictions on logging that is a government thing not something we can solve with machines.

For farmbot to stay alive it has to be profitable to a point.

You would still have to convince the companies to use the method. They can currently pic and choose trees to take out of an area. They just dont want to for profit margins reasons. I think a good way to accomplish your goal would be through lobbying. The reason a lot of lobbyist fail is extremism, for example someone would lobby to ban all tree removal in an area. I think there should be half measures like; a limit to a 50 meter x 10miles strip of forest could be removed for every 10 square miles with reseeding and a 20yr wait time between removals. This would allow nature to quickly fill the gap back in and allow the wildlife to return to normal quickly.

Old growth forests here have upwards of 1000 year old trees in them … Red cedar, Spruce, fir. Redwoods are even older!.. And the logging companies like those trees… It’s why they are logging in South America now. It’s to get the old growth forests…large trees! They don’t replant though. The mentality is to cut and burn, and “that” is wasteful and foolish. You make it unsustainable that way. Where are you gonna find more trees? If you replant clear cut areas your prospect is to cut again in 40 years, small trees you don’t like!

If you didn’t have to build roads and hire teams of men, do numerous cuts to remove trees you don’t want!, buy helicopters, watch the fires you lit, …that would be a economical. And sustainable!

Why not plant lots of trees using robots, instead of wasting money cutting down ones you don’t need? Then not planting because future generations and the general public will be the ones to benefit? Why not carry out the trees to a central pickup location, instead of bulldozing roads, or buying helicopters and cutting down the whole forest. And putting yourself in the position of cutting young new forests that are not as profitable.

The price of one helecopter would buy you numerous robot cutters/carriers and planting/care-taking bots. Your forest could become a second use place(using it as a camping area… A place that holds the old growth feeling!

Actually you wouldn’t have to convince them… They(corporations) have a history of preferring to rip and ruin. You can’t even convince them it’s wasteful!

Leave them to their stupidity and provide this solution to people who are invested in conservation! Invested in preserving the earth. Let the corporations put themselves out of business.

"You would still have to convince the companies to use the method. "

Replanting 1000 trees is not productive either… Better to plant 10 in the area where you took the tree! where the mycelium is intact and wrap the mycelium around the roots of small trees… Get it integrated into the support network! It will do 1000 times better!

Sorry, by " convince the companies to use the method. " I was agreeing with you. I meant convince them to use your method which you laid out. Also I agree that you could not convince them. I think you would be right about having to just move on to others.

I think the gov’t would be willing to do smart replanting… If they are not just looking to keep it non forest and sell off that land when the prices get right
My goodness…
$2,000,000 for a 3 bedroom house in Vancouver? Yikes!its getting close!!
We all know how honest they(gov’t) is lol

Thanks bagginsdada
Yeah, the forestry companies here don’t want change… They are content to clear cut and not replant! Anybody offers a different view or a better solution and they get defensive and decide your a tree hugger and a weirdo. You can’t communicate with them! They’re right and everyone else is wrong!

Forestry companies in Australia only do the right thing due to government regulation and if they don’t the government will take the cost of replanting time 10 000 out their pockets because the area they don’t replant would be classed as needing total rehabilitation. Remember most areas will not need total rehabilitation so this is profit making for the government. Unfortunately greed is the major controlling factor the rules better bring someone profit or else it not going to work. For forestry management bringing the government profit when they do the wrong thing is about the best outcome. Australia government is evil in the rules for it not to be profitable you have to be talking inside a 100x100 meter area the sale price has to be greater than 10 million dollars to make government more money than fining the company for not replanting.

I think here they basically had an industry controls itself attitude… This never really works… They(corporations) never do what they say their gonna do or what’s in the best interests of people, because their bottom line is "profits first"
Ecology last!

From here I’m gonna work up a 6 legged platform with tools to care for a garden plot. I’ve already posted under that title…

This will be useful for the Farmbot and later for the tree farming/ harvesting idea.
Thanks for the input!
Tom