About Tree Planting:
Some people probably think that this site glamorizes tree planting. Incorrect! It is not a glamorous job. In fact, it is a very difficult job, formerly rated by Manpower Canada (when HRSDC was still under that name) as probably the single most difficult job in the country, when taking physical and mental aspects into consideration. Some of the photos you see on this site may make you think that tree planting will be a wonderful and exciting career. DON'T BE FOOLED. The job usually sucks. Physically, it's difficult, and it's usually only successfully attempted for the first time by young people in their early and mid twenties (although if you get good at it when you're young, you can keep doing it for many years). Mentally, it can be devastating. In terms of financial rewards, there's a large up-front investment to get you out there and get you started, and unfortunately, many rookies will quit during or after their first season. It isn't until your second season that you really might start to make some decent money. To be successful you have to be incredibly patient, have an extremely strong work ethic and sense of self-motivition, and realize that it takes a long time before you will get good at the job. If you have the patience to wait it out, you can earn good money as a planter. In your first season, the biggest things that you will take away at the end of the summer (if you make it that long) are the feeling that you're not a quitter, and the ability to go to sleep almost instantly in a moving vehicle on a bumpy logging road. You might have a good tan too, if you want a farmer's tan.
About the Website:
I didn't put this website together in order to make money. I've turned down a couple of major proposals from potential corporate sponsors, due to the risk that it might compromise my ability to maintain the site as a [hopefully/ostensibly] independent and unbiased reference source. Generally, businesses or corporations that are mentioned in a positive light on the website are only mentioned because I (Scooter, the Admin) think that they offer goods or services that planters will find useful. However, I do occasionally accept some free products or advertising revenue from suppliers, to cover a small portion of the annual hosting fees, or in the case of free products, to give out to some of my planters.
If you want to make a small donation which will be put toward website support and server fees, here's my bitcoin address: 19VhVFnw76Vor86SDoN2CSLcarQeZZqysE
Initially, the point of developing this website was for me to be able to let a few close friends know what was happening during the summer. Let's be honest here: I was lazy, and I figured that it would save me from having to write letters (this was the early days of the internetz). However, it started to grow in popularity as my friends shared it around, and a lot of people became interested in the diaries and the photo pages. After a few years, training material was added, which has mostly been useful for new planters. And of course, the message board is extremely popular among experienced planters and other industry stakeholders. In coming years, the main focus for further development will probably be to improve the educational and training information being offered.
Traffic to the site is pretty intensive, averaging around five hundred unique visitors per day during the slow parts of the year, and well over a thousand visitors per day in the months ramping up to the spring/summer planting season.
Incidentally, I do make a bit of money doing writing or ghost-writing for clients: everything from blogs to advertising to magazine articles, and more. If you'd like to hire me for writing services related to silviculture or forestry, feel free to contact me with your proposals/requirements (email address below).
About the Author:
Jonathan Clark (more commonly known as Scooter) has been planting trees in Western Canada for a while. After starting as a rookie planter with Tawa, he thereafter acted as a foreman and/or camp supervisor with them for four years including the years they were taken over by PRT Nurseries. After PRT shut down their central interior (BC) planting operations, Scooter joined Folklore Contracting, and has been a foreman and/or camp supervisor with that company since then. During breaks in planting with his primary employers, he has also worked on contracts with Waterside, Hi Rise, Outland/New Forest, Natural Borders/Coast Range, and a number of coastal companies. During his silviculture career (up to and including the end of the Fall coastal season in October 2016), he has planted 1,079,200 trees. As a foreman, his personal crews have planted a total of 14.025 million trees (he's worked as a foreman at five different companies). As a supervisor, he has directly overseen projects totalling 91.233 million trees. Scooter also has a separate Blog that was started in 2006, but the blog is not specifically devoted to tree planting (although a few planting-related items sometimes appear on it).
Check out the above for a short biography video about Scooter.
Here's a photo of Scooter as a camp supervisor. People who know him from his job working at the Pub probably wouldn't believe how dirty he gets.
Another photo of Scooter at work - this time pulling a stick out from under the engine of the quad.
During the fall/winter/spring, Scooter works as occasionally as a bartender in Sackville, New Brunswick. As you might guess from the photos below, the job there is almost the polar opposite of planting: working until five in the morning, sleeping until lunch, and staying very clean. The diversity in switching between the two positions every year makes each job a little less monotonous. Scooter also is studying professional music production, with the goal of opening a large professional music studio in Atlantic Canada in late 2016.
Here are a couple photos of Scooter at work at one of the bars in Sackville. Most people who know him from his tree planting life probably won't recognize him looking this clean.
When Scooter isn't planting, he is kept busy with a number of other activities: taking occasional university courses (he already has a B.Comm and an MBA, and has completed a couple of Masters programs in Music from the Berklee School of Music), doing video production work for another company in the Atlantic provinces, doing some moonlighting as a Professional DJ. You can also check out Scooter's DJ Fan Page on Facebook if you enjoy that kind of music (dance/house/techno). Scooter is also studying to be a pilot, and hopes to have a commercial pilot's license by the end of 2017.
Send e-mail to Scooter: email@example.com
Follow "Silviculture Canada" on Twitter: Follow @silviculturecan
Are you working on a story or news article about tree planting or other silviculture activities? I've been contacted for quite a few interviews recently. I'm glad to help out, so email me at the above link if you'd like to contact me for an interview.