Elf Silviculture

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frank23
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Elf Silviculture

Post by frank23 » Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:30 pm

Hi guys, I've been looking for any info to contact ELF SILVICULTURE LTD. on the internet and there's nothing I can find easily. Does anyone here has worked for them and/or has their contact info?
Thanks!

Frank.

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Re: looking for ELF SILVICULTURE LTD. contact info

Post by Mike » Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:56 pm

They used to be listed on Scooters list with a phone number. When I called that phone number [looking for august work last summer], it was someone's house number. Here's the address; perhaps find someone in Telqua, or drive up there yourself, and knock on the door, see what happens? It's north of Kamloops, south of Williams Lake (and Google Maps lists it as Telqua Drive, Kamloops.)

ELF SILVICULTURE LTD. --- Box 232, Telqua, BC, V0J 2X0
All of my company reviews and experience (The Planting Company, Windfirm, ELF, Folklore, Dynamic, Timberline, Eric Boyd, Wagner, Little Smokey, Leader, plus my lists for summer work and coastal) can be found at the start of the Folklore review due to URL and character limits.

Folklore, 2011: http://tinyurl.com/anl6mkd

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Re: looking for ELF SILVICULTURE LTD. contact info

Post by backcountrysister » Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:50 am

A friend used to foreman for them..all I have heard R good thing:) I know that they are out of Smithers- so, Im not sure about Kamloops? I will dig around & find a number
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Re: looking for ELF SILVICULTURE LTD. contact info

Post by mcD » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:50 am

um it is actually Telkwa, and it is not south of Williams lake, it is around 400km west of prince George, Don't know if they are even in buisness anymore.

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Re: looking for ELF SILVICULTURE LTD. contact info

Post by Mr. Amazing » Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:41 am

'Facebook' is actually pretty good for this kind of stuff... If you can't find Chris or Monica, there is an e.l.f. group called "I used to be an ELF...." or something. Might be able to find contact info there....

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Re: looking for ELF SILVICULTURE LTD. contact info

Post by Scooter » Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:10 am

Just got this from someone who used to work there ...
I was in Vancouver - oh 6 months ago - and had dinner with one of their old head foreman types ... although he doesnt work in the bush anymore ... Elf still exists, still plants - but very very small - not that they were ever big ...

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ELF SILVICULTURE LTD.

Post by frank23 » Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:02 pm

Can someone that ever worked with ELF SILVICULTURE LTD. can comment on the company's contracts?
(Pricing, averages from last seasons,days of work, locations,type of work and all)
Thanks.

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Re: looking for ELF SILVICULTURE LTD. contact info

Post by dogfucker#36 » Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:54 pm

clhow68@hotmail.com is the contact for chris howard.
a small, tight company working around prince george and smithers area.
hard working, well organized and amazing food thanks to ali.
most years only have a spring season but the cash is quick and good.

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Re: looking for ELF SILVICULTURE LTD. contact info

Post by Mike » Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:36 pm

Two planters from ELF joined up with Windfirm last summer for the summer plant; I'll try to get one of them to come on here and comment about their 2009 season.
All of my company reviews and experience (The Planting Company, Windfirm, ELF, Folklore, Dynamic, Timberline, Eric Boyd, Wagner, Little Smokey, Leader, plus my lists for summer work and coastal) can be found at the start of the Folklore review due to URL and character limits.

Folklore, 2011: http://tinyurl.com/anl6mkd

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Re: looking for ELF SILVICULTURE LTD. contact info

Post by Atronic5000 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:15 pm

ELF Silviculture is still around and going strong, and out of the 6 companies I've worked for, I can say that ELF takes the cake.

EFFICIENCY:
Planters spend their time PLANTING, not doing grunt work. There is a policy that planters should never touch a tree-box - as a result, the foreman work very hard, and this work ethic is shared by everyone.
Everyone works hard, doing their part, and everyone makes good money.
There are no 'curveballs' as there are with most companies. By this, I mean that ELF works 4 and 1 shifts constantly. No 6 day shifts here and there, no 2 days off - there's a reliable schedule, and it's conducive to productivity. Blocks are almost always less than 30min away, and days always start at the same time.

PRICES:
Camp costs are $25 - standard.
Treeprices are very good. Obviously it depends on the land, but middle-ballers can easily make $350+/day, highballers will make $400-600/day, consistently. Every time I leave ELF and try out another company, I make $100-200 less per day than I did at ELF.

CAMP:
The camp is small, the company is no more than 30 people. The food is very good - the cook is a professional cook at a private resort when not with ELF. If gluttony is your thing - ELF is for you. Almost all the baking is homemade. Camp life is simple, there's no money wasted on satellite TV's, internet access, and other 'camp bonuses'. Instead, that money is put into good tree prices and safe company vehicles.

LAND:
You know the old saying: "there's no bad land, only bad prices"? No matter what the terrain is, you'll be happy with the tree price. However, the land is generally moderate, with 3k+ being obtainable on a day-to-day basis for planters who have some experience. Most contracts are in the Prince George area. This year the contracts are close to Burns Lake.

FOREMEN:
Hard working, always organized. You will never find yourself waiting for trees on the block.


I have only good things to say about ELF Silviculture, except that they don't have a summer plant.
If you're sick of big companies - (moving boxes around/doing the foreman's job, eating shitty camp food, driving to the block in unsafe-decommissioned vehicles, working for useless and disorganized foremen/camp managers, and being underpaid) - then apply to a good company.

There ARE good companies out there - ELF is one of them.

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Re: ELF SILVICULTURE LTD.

Post by ekim » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:53 pm

A rookie from ELF came and planted for 3 days with us, she told me thier rate was 11 cents and she had 0 training, which explained her super shollow trees in cream land, well actually it still doesn't.

Who doesn't train rookies how to plant?

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Re: ELF SILVICULTURE LTD.

Post by jdtesluk » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:59 pm

Probably not fair to judge ELF on the trees (or words) of one rookie. They did used to have a job north of PG where the specs were for shallow trees with the plug level to the top of the ground. If a rookie was on such a job, they could make the noob mistake of thinking that was the norm. Just speculating there though. Input directly from an ELF planter would probably be better than my speculation or other second hand news.

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Re: ELF SILVICULTURE LTD.

Post by ekim » Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:36 pm

I'm not trying judge the whole company on one rookies bad planting but I don't understand why a rookie would have no training, and why after a full spring season this person doesn't know how to plant. Do the crew bosses do any plots/checking?

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Re: looking for ELF SILVICULTURE LTD. contact info

Post by Mike » Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:27 am

All of my company reviews and experience (The Planting Company, Windfirm, ELF, Folklore, Dynamic, Timberline, Eric Boyd, Wagner, Little Smokey, Leader, plus my lists for summer work and coastal) can be found at the start of the Folklore review due to URL and character limits.

Folklore, 2011: http://tinyurl.com/anl6mkd

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Re: ELF SILVICULTURE LTD.

Post by Mike » Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:28 am

Crosslinking to the other thread:
http://www.replant.ca/phpBB3/viewtopic. ... 719#p78719

I worked for ELF this season and they were extremely good. I'll do a full write up towards the end of the season.
All of my company reviews and experience (The Planting Company, Windfirm, ELF, Folklore, Dynamic, Timberline, Eric Boyd, Wagner, Little Smokey, Leader, plus my lists for summer work and coastal) can be found at the start of the Folklore review due to URL and character limits.

Folklore, 2011: http://tinyurl.com/anl6mkd

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Re: ELF SILVICULTURE LTD.

Post by doogiski » Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:29 pm

ekim wrote:I'm not trying judge the whole company on one rookies bad planting but I don't understand why a rookie would have no training, and why after a full spring season this person doesn't know how to plant. Do the crew bosses do any plots/checking?
I agree, it's unfair to judge a company by one rookie planter with 20 days under their belt.

ELF is one of the most efficient run companies out there. This year we were in Burns Lake and it was a duff show and depth was "if I can't see the plug when standing over the tree, it's deep enough" and that included moss coverage. So that rookie that planted with you had only ever planted "shallow" trees. I'm a 6-year planter and I even found that there was a transition period from planting "shallow" trees to going to fingers deep after switching contracts.

This was the first year when ELF didn't have great prices, but still 11 cents on really clean straight plant. Over half the camp would put in a "leisure 3k" for the majority of the contract. 4 days on 1 day off and guaranteed 9hrs+/day every contract regardless. Block drives are usually less than 30 minutes and I've had to wait for trees twice and I've been with the company for 6 years. If you're not making $300+/day in the spring, it simply means you're a low-baller.

Also, rookies get trained on the job at ELF like every other planting company I know. Perhaps you took the zero training out of context. Everyone has "zero" training when they come into planting work for the first time.

I'd have to say the only negative aspect of ELF is that they now only do a spring contract which is usually 30-40 days.

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Re: ELF SILVICULTURE LTD.

Post by Mike » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:18 pm

ELF --- 2010 season.

Elf was basically one of the best companies I could imagine working for.
Camp met up on May 12th, started planting a half day on may 13th. Planted 3 shifts of 4 and 1, had 2 days off for a camp move, then planted 2 more shifts of 4 and 1 followed by a 3 and 1. The first camp (shifts 1-3) was located on the far side of the Ferry past burns lake, which made days off a little bit of a pain. The second camp as at an air strip just 5 minutes out of burns lake.
Shift 1: May 13th-16th, Day off.
Shift 2: May 18th-21st, Day off.
Shift 3: May 23rd-26th, 2 days off
Shift 4: May 29th-June 1st, Day off
Shift 5: June 3rd-June 6th, Day off
Shift 6: June 8th-10th, done.

At this point in the season there was a 6-7 day gap and a final 250k trees (or so). The camp manager said people were freely able to go if they so wanted, which was very respectable. I think most of the camp returned to finish this and just took a week break; I went and worked for Dorsey.

The contract was for (I believe) BCTS Burns Lake. The contract was subcontracted from Windfirm Resources, a Smither's based company.
Our checked was Chris Paulson, owner of Tree to Tree, a local Burns Lake company.
Tree prices were 11 cents for straight plant, 15 cents for fill plants.
The straight plant was consistently good, equal to or slightly better than what I have seen in the past (working for Windfirm, Dorsey, and The Planting Company). Some planters said it was lower than they had seen in the past (indeed, the camp manager said so on occasion) but from my perspective it was at or above everything I'd planted for in the past.
The fill plants were consistently great. I'm not entirely certain, but I'm pretty sure with the exception of one terrific block for Paul's crew, the fill plants were some of people's best money days.

The camps consisted of: A pair of shower tents, outhouses, a cook trailer, mess tent, dry tent. The usual. There was a TV that people tried to watch hockey on, though the reception was pretty bad.

Total number of trees. 1.8 million. 1.6 million of those done in 23 days = ~70000 trees per day. There were 25 planters in camp, which means tree average per day was ~2800, which means at 11 cents, the average planter was making ~300$. Which means the above poster (sorry Doog) is a little off in his math, but not much.

The camp was 25 planters in total (started at 24 and we gained someone 12 days in); 4 rookies, lots of vets in the 3-7 year range, a few 10 year vets. Lots of people that had planted for a wider variety of companies but ended up returning to ELF. Lots of top notch people.

Breakfast started being served at 6:00 PM each day. Trucks left camp precisely at 7:00 each day --- day 1 of each shift we had a camp meeting that never took more than 10 minutes. Trucks left the blocks at 5:00 each day; and the amount of precision here was astounding. There were several days where the blocks closed precisely at 5:00; several days where part of the crew was sent away on a special mission and it got done at exactly 5:00; or several days where the crew was split between blocks, but the first block would always close right at 5:00. It was impressive.

Density was generally 7 or 8, with the fills generally being 4's and 5's. Quality expectations were pretty reasonable --- there was mostly focus on proper density, and we could plant in pretty much any medium. Things you'd normally see, but then maybe a little bit laxer, perhaps by virtue of Chris Paulson's own planting experience/running a planting camp while checking?

Camp management was top notch: Paul and Wes, the two foremen, had both been planting/foremaning for 10 years (one was a 5/5 split, the other a 6/4). They worked incredibly hard --- blocks were set up before we got to them, we never unloaded reefers, it was really an atmosphere where the foremen worked really hard, and the planters worked really hard for them. The foremen were making a percentage (16%, I believe) off 12 and 13 planter crews. Nobody ever waited for trees. Pauls crew on average had slightly faster planters (which may account for Doog's calculations there) but he is correct that there were a lot of people putting in 3k+ a day, and some putting in 4k+ with regularity.

The camp manager, Chris Howard, was similarly awesome. A terrific guy, a hard worker, who put together a great contract for us. He'd been planting somewhere in the realm of 20 years. Monica Howard was doing books, though we didn't see much of her.

If you did dishes you got camp costs.
Camp costs were standard 25$.
Numbers were done on the honour system, and I never heard of any problems.

Food was terrific. Aly (I believe short for Alissa?) Howard was an amazing cook (apparently she cooks at a 5 star resort the rest of the year in Smithers, which I can believe). The highlight of the season for me was cherry pie and handmade cinnamon stick icecream.

Breakfasts involved fruit salad, a meat (sausage or bacon), porridge, toast, cereal, fruit, and then something else (french toast, pancakes, waffles, omelets, etcetera).
Lunches were good too; full line up of sandwhich stuff, fruit (apples, oranges, bannanas), trail mix, cookies and other baked goods, veggie sticks, etcetera.

Dinners were terrrific and varried; some theme nights (Greek, Thai, Pizza, turkey dinner and pumpkin pie, burgers, etc) --- but all in all, it was some of the best food I've ever had.


I'm not going back, sadly. Last year I was just below average while planting with ELF, which means that coupled with their short season, I'm simply not going to make as much as if I can pull out a 70 day season elsewhere; and as a student, I basically have to be pulling in 12+ grand to stay in school (unless I want loans, but, I don't). Lots of vets from ELF have connections with other companies and have no trouble finding extra work, but I am not yet that well connected. That being said, I'd definitely recommend this company to anyone...but you pretty much have to meet someone in the camp to get hired. The camp was 15/25 people from Smithers, and the rest people that had met them somehow.

Great company. I wish they'd bid on contracts outside of the area, but Chris Howard keeps quality high by keeping it to land he knows and can inspect easily during the bidding process and selective bidding. That being said, I have a hunch that even a contract that was low-bid and gained by ELF outside the area would still be better than what a lot of companies offer.

And as always, take comments and company reviews with a grain of salt. Things can change vastly from crew to crew, year to year (camp to camp, if a company so large) --- and so much of what is good and bad about planting is very, very subjective. That being said, subjectively, I think ELF is very, very good.
All of my company reviews and experience (The Planting Company, Windfirm, ELF, Folklore, Dynamic, Timberline, Eric Boyd, Wagner, Little Smokey, Leader, plus my lists for summer work and coastal) can be found at the start of the Folklore review due to URL and character limits.

Folklore, 2011: http://tinyurl.com/anl6mkd

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Re: ELF SILVICULTURE LTD.

Post by Scooter » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:31 pm

Great review. I wish there were more of these on this site.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before in this thread, but I worked with Chris and Monica while they were at Folklore, back in the late 1990's. Top notch.

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Re: ELF SILVICULTURE LTD.

Post by Mike » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:36 am

Entire company was awesome people all around.
All of my company reviews and experience (The Planting Company, Windfirm, ELF, Folklore, Dynamic, Timberline, Eric Boyd, Wagner, Little Smokey, Leader, plus my lists for summer work and coastal) can be found at the start of the Folklore review due to URL and character limits.

Folklore, 2011: http://tinyurl.com/anl6mkd

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Re: ELF SILVICULTURE LTD.

Post by doogiski » Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:06 pm

Too bad you're not coming back Mike. We got more trees this year! 2.6M in the PG area then 700,000 to end the spring in Fort St. James. Camp is also expanding with two additional six-packs in addition to Paul and Wes' crew. Maybe we'll see each other on the circuit in the summer!

We were on different crew's, but Mike's review of last season was spot on. I also want to add one point, I've planted with 4 other companies in Western Canada and this will be my 7th year going going back to ELF because of how well it's run and the people in the camp.

In addition to the points that Mike had, one thing that separates ELF from other companies is the little things. For example, Ali would have treats on the lunch table such as pepperoni sticks for incentive tor people to get up early and not have drivers waiting. Also, at the end of each shift, Chris would have a few cases of beer (usually enough for 2-3 each in camp) as a way to thank us for doing our job. There's a higher unwritten level of respect between managers/foreman/planters that is unparalleled to any other camp I've ever been in before. Ali doesn't have to spend extra food money on treats and Chris doesn't have to buy beer for us after every shift out of his own pocket, but they do. It's the little things always go a long way.

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Re: ELF SILVICULTURE LTD.

Post by Mike » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:23 pm

Yeah! Lots of good about ELF. In particular, since the foreman and management were working so incredibly hard all the time, there was an atmosphere of "not letting them down" --- so keeping production steady, a careful eye on quality, and being on time. It made things very smooth; and in the camp, it felt clear that the planters were not the hardest workers around, which was nice.

3.3 million trees with 36 planters at 2800/per planter per day is 33 days (40 if production goes down, but I have a hard time imagining that happening at ELF, or if the land is harder/higher priced, or if Paul or Wes drop from a 12 to a 6). That's assuming last years average continues, obviously no more than a best guess.

If you ever end up back in Canada we should try to meet and catch up. Shoot me a message on Facebook.
All of my company reviews and experience (The Planting Company, Windfirm, ELF, Folklore, Dynamic, Timberline, Eric Boyd, Wagner, Little Smokey, Leader, plus my lists for summer work and coastal) can be found at the start of the Folklore review due to URL and character limits.

Folklore, 2011: http://tinyurl.com/anl6mkd

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Re: ELF SILVICULTURE LTD.

Post by Scooter » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:32 am

Does anyone have a correct mailing address for Elf? I was just told that the mailing address I have on this site isn't correct.

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Re: ELF SILVICULTURE LTD.

Post by Mike » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:07 pm

I have a guess that Chris Howard would prefer not to have that out, since any company mailing address would also be a home one, probably.
All of my company reviews and experience (The Planting Company, Windfirm, ELF, Folklore, Dynamic, Timberline, Eric Boyd, Wagner, Little Smokey, Leader, plus my lists for summer work and coastal) can be found at the start of the Folklore review due to URL and character limits.

Folklore, 2011: http://tinyurl.com/anl6mkd

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Re: ELF SILVICULTURE LTD.

Post by doogiski » Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:12 am

Scooter wrote:Does anyone have a correct mailing address for Elf? I was just told that the mailing address I have on this site isn't correct.
Best bet to contact is Chris' e-mail, it's clhow68@hotmail.com. I don't have the mailing address on hand but can send you it when I find out.

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Re: ELF SILVICULTURE LTD.

Post by kenax » Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:34 pm

With the permission of Scooter I just copied updated information from this thread to the Treeplanter’s Database found at http://hardcoretreeplanters.com/ to make it easier to view comments by treeplanters and compare treeplanting companies against one another, in the hopes that they will treat and pay their planters better.
Check out my tree planting website http://hardcoretreeplanters.com/ where I wrote down all my tips how to plant fast and all the other tips I accumulated after 7 years of planting.

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Re: ELF SILVICULTURE LTD.

Post by Bennett » Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:26 am

I heard somewhere that ELF wasn't planting any trees this year. Is this really the case?

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Re: ELF SILVICULTURE LTD.

Post by jdtesluk » Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:42 am

I believe they have the intention to. The question may be whether or not they were able to secure work for the kind of bids they are comfortable with. Probably best to ask Chris or Monica though, before assuming anything.

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Re: Elf Silviculture

Post by Mike » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:28 pm

I can confirm that ELF planted some trees in 2012. That number, I believe, was pretty low --- a couple...weeks? of community forest work in the Smithers region for a handful of locals.
All of my company reviews and experience (The Planting Company, Windfirm, ELF, Folklore, Dynamic, Timberline, Eric Boyd, Wagner, Little Smokey, Leader, plus my lists for summer work and coastal) can be found at the start of the Folklore review due to URL and character limits.

Folklore, 2011: http://tinyurl.com/anl6mkd

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