Why We Plant Trees
With 348 million hectares of land covered by trees, Canada is a forest nation. Our forests have long been a key natural resource and a major source of wealth, providing a wide range of economic, social and environmental benefits. In 2017, the forest industry contributed 24.6 billion to Canada’s nominal gross domestic product.
Canada’s sustainable forest management practices ensure that our forests remain healthy and that the forest industry continues to provide Canadians with a steady stream of benefits. Our methods are internationally recognized as among the most rigorous in the world.
Here, stumps are visible from logging activity on a recently-planted cut block. Mature forest borders this young block, as well as a slightly older planted block in the background.
Timber harvesting is sustainable in Canada thanks to strong laws, oversight and management, and the requirement that all harvested public lands be regenerated.
Approximately 90% of Canada’s harvested forests are on public land. Lumber and pulp mills are granted logging rights from the government, and in turn the government legislates that those trees be replaced.
This is where we come in: mills hire us to plant seedlings in their cut blocks.
It takes many hands to plant the millions of seedlings that fulfill tree planting contracts. It is the hands of tree planters that keep Canadian forestry vibrant and sustainable; we give the birds new homes and keep the air clean. We are certainly a cog in the industrial forestry machine, but a positive one, none-the-less.
Thinking About Planting?
Canadian Tree planting is one of the world’s toughest jobs. It's hard to understand exactly why this is until you have experienced it. But we’ll give it a shot!
It is important to get a thorough understanding of what you are committing to before coming out. You will have a 3 week probation period to learn how to do a high-quality job and earn over minimum wage. In order to get a head start, please read the materials here, chat with planters you know, and feel free to email us with any questions.
“bagged up” – note: it is not good practice to have ALL seedlings “unbundled”, although this person may be ambidextrous.
What a Tree Planter Does
Individual planters are responsible for reforesting a small section of a larger cut block. This small section of land is called a “piece”. Pieces are assigned to planters by a field staff, or foreman. Planters bag up -put seedlings into their bags- at a cache. A cache is where tree seedlings are stored on blocks. The cache is also where planters store their day pack, lunch and water. A cache is nothing glamorous, but only defined by an insulating forestry tarp, (a “silivicool” tarp), which keeps the tree temperature regulated.
Once a planter has bagged up, they head into their piece and begin planting quality trees in an orderly fashion, meticulously working their land from back to front in order to ensure that every square meter is covered.
A tree planter’s tools include:
shovel, bags, plot cord, gloves and boots.
works out of remote bush camps
Camps consist of:
Four large Weatherhaven tents: Kitchen, Dining, Office and Dry Shack
The fridge trailer
The shower trailer
Our showers are hot, reliable, and you can adjust the temperature—a serious perk! The Dry shack is where you will find an airtight wood stove to dry your wet items of clothing from a rain day. This is also one of the best places to store your gear and personal items not allowed in your personal tent, (essentially anything scented will attract bears).
The food is fantastic and prepared by two, often impressive, cooks—please see the Food Gallery photos to get an idea of the meals. Our cooks are able to accommodate for many dietary restrictions. It is important that you let us know if you have food sensitivities or allergies before the season so that the cooks can adequately prepare.
There is hot buffet breakfast served in the morning, typically between 6 – 6:50. At this time there is also a lunch table set out where you pack your own lunch for the day. Items on this table include bread, lunch meat, cheese, condiments, veggies, fruit, baked goods, and trail mix. Please bring tupperware containers to pack your food in. You may eat more than you expect, so bring extra.
Dinner is prepared by the cooks and there will be appetizers ready upon arrival to camp at the end of the day. The main course is typically not served until all trucks have returned home from the blocks.
A note on water: There is plenty of potable water at camp, but you must supply your own personal water jugs. Please ensure you bring 4 – 6 L worth of bottles with you to the first shift.
The majority of planters sleep in tents, but the choice is yours to make.
For the better part of 4 months, you will be living in whatever accommodation you bring with you: be it tent, trailer, or otherwise.
A blog by Emma, a first year planter from the 2018 season. Emma does a nice job of recapping her first year: the good, bad and the ugly. She has some accurate insights to the perks and drawbacks of planting as well as some solid simple advice for those new to planting. Thanks for sharing Emma!