DroneSeed acquires California's largest tree nursery

Friday 24 Mar 2023

Climate tech company Mast, the newly-formed parent company of DroneSeed, has announced its acquisition of California-based Cal Forest Nurseries, which supplies the majority of seedlings used for reforestation in California. Mast restores forests after large-scale wildfires with reforestation projects that generate high quality carbon removal credits.

With the acquisition of Cal Forest, Mast addresses a major obstacle to scaling reforestation: an inadequate supply of tree seed and seedlings. The company chose its new name, Mast, from the forestry term describing the once or twice per decade phenomenon in which multiple trees simultaneously produce a large crop of seed-bearing cones.

The addition of Cal Forest strengthens Mast's vertical integration in response to reforestation supply chain challenges due to bigger, hotter, wildfires driven by climate change. By combining technology and legacy forestry practices with seed and seedling supplies, Mast can execute an ever-greater number of post-fire reforestation projects in partnership with landowners.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, wildfires in recent decades burn an average of 7 million acres every year, compared with only 2 million acres in annual burn before the 1990s. This increase of 5 million more acres burned in wildfires every year is equivalent to the land area of New Jersey. In addition to burning more land, hotter fires fuelled by climate change also impede forests' ability to naturally regenerate by destroying seeds that would survive less severe fires.

Cal Forest Nurseries is a trusted reforestation resource and critical link in the reforestation supply chain. The nursery has deep knowledge and proven experience growing an abundance of high-quality seedlings for a variety of tree species. Long-time customers include large public and private organizations such as major timber company Sierra Pacific Industries, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). Mast's first acquisition of a seed bank and seedling nursery came in August 2021, when the company added 130-year-old Silvaseed to its supply chain. Since it acquired Silvaseed, Mast increased its seed supply by over three times, resulting from the company expanding its tech and capacity.

Along with Cal Forest Nurseries, Mast also acquired Siskiyou Seed, a seed supplier and processor that complements Silvaseed, reinforcing Mast's position as the largest private seed supplier in the Western U.S. More >>

About Mast

Mast is a climate tech company providing vertically integrated reforestation services to get forest restoration projects up and running in weeks, not years. Services include seed collection, seedling cultivation, site preparation, seedling hand planting, aerial drone-based seeding, and ongoing site monitoring.

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