Scooter told me it was alright to make another thread about Treeline but only if you worked for them in 2009. So did anyone work with them last year? How was it? It's Ontario based, so is it a typical rookie mill? They got a huge contract this year, 8mil, pretty big considering they're a small company.
They have a forum on their website, a really inactive one that is lol But after looking around a bit, it looks like they paid 8cents a tree in 2009, a bit too low if you ask me. I won't go under 9 cents in Ontario.
in 08 there were 10-15 vets in a camp of around 70. in 09 there were 40 vets in a camp of 60 or so.
pay was 8 cents for scarified, and i think 9-12 for unscarified.
keeping in mind that it IS ontario, i can honestly say i have no big complaints, and it was infinitely better than bailing out a&m. that's just me though.
I only have two seasons experience planting, both with Treeline, and from what I know about the industry, and what I've done at Treeline, I can say that it's not great. The company, however, has expanded massively in terms of contract size and number of planters since 08 and the new management team, so for all I know the company could be doing really well. In '11 the contract was for about 8.5 million trees, and around 100 planters were hired to do the contract, with about a 60-40 rookie-vet split if I recall correctly, with about 10-15 quitters over the course of the season. In 2012 the contract was for 10.5 million trees apparently, and around 140 planters were hired with maybe 110 finishing the season- about 45 of those 110 were vets. In 2011, there was one camp for all of those planters; in 2012, there were two planting camps, one camp of about 100 which stayed around Shining tree for most of the contract and then moving to a camp near Matheson, and the other camp of about 45 planters who camped around I don't know the fuck where for half the season before they camps for a heli-and-boatshow where they were camping near Smooth Rock Falls.
Treeline is basically a rookie mill, though I quite honestly enjoyed my time there. the prices are 8 cents for scarified land and 9c for raw, with some 10c incentive days thrown around there. This may seem like an abomination for the BC planters on this forum, but as far as I can tell 8c is pretty much normal for Ontario - I have only heard of Haveman and PRT paying a higher price for scarified land.
From what I can tell, Treeline actually does get pretty nice land by ontario standards. Typical Treeline land is straight trenches and relatively nice soil for most of the season, with moderate slash. Camp costs are also a good factor; the more trees you plant the less you pay. Standard cost is 25$, but if you plant 75000 your cost is reduced to 23$ for the entire season, if you hit 100 you pay 20$, and if you can hit 150 you pay only 16$.
Treeline is very disorganized though. I had days where we wouldn't start planting until 10:30 because there were no trees on the block...or something. There was a day where we didn't end up planting because the foreman didn't know where the block was; we drove for four hours, couldn't find the block, then went back to camp and hung out. Admittedly, that was probably the best day of the season. I guess this makes up for the multiple times in the season we would return to camp from planting after 10 P.M. Access for a lot of blocks is shit; in 2012 more so than 2011 I found, there was a 7-day shift where the day started with a walk-in that ate up 2 hours through swamp. Taking a boat to the block is relaxing though, so I guess that was fun. Treeline also really likes making planters carry trees from place to place. Some planters at times were forced to carry as much as 1200 trees at a time for reasons I did not ask about. They don't pay you for reefer duty either, not sure if that is legal in Ontario.
I am not returning to Treeline this year, so I don't know whether they will be managing their contracts in two separate camps; this seemed to create an organizational nightmare for planters and management alike. The contract they have this year is for approximately the same size as in 2012 so this may be the case again. The disposition of the two camps in 2012 was completely different; I found one to have a much better work atmosphere and much better organized during the time I was there, although the planters of the one camp were worked much harder, with more camp moves, earlier days, later nights, and more walk-ins and more shit in general. I would hope that's not how it goes this year.
If it sounds like I didn't like Treeline from what I wrote above, that's not the truth, I honestly loved it and have mostly fond memories. But there were many issues in the past season and if you are a rookie there, you will have fun, but there are better companies in Ontario, and I'm going out west this season in the hope of better prices and conditions.
Out of ignorance I have to ask, is that sarcasm or seriousness? I do know they aren't the worst in Ontario, from talking to people who have planted at multiple Ontario companies.Nate wrote:Thanks for the review Thomas. Sounds like they're in the top tier for Ontario planting.
This was strictly a product of the larger camp; the smaller camp was extremely well organized, I don't think I ever waited for trees and waited only once for land, but only because communication channels got crossed (as is liable to happen to anyone in any job). I was switched to the larger camp near the end of the season and found them much less organized, which I suspect was a product from the differing work ethics, was reflected in absurdly late hours on a few days.Treeline is very disorganized though. I had days where we wouldn't start planting until 10:30 because there were no trees on the block...or something. There was a day where we didn't end up planting because the foreman didn't know where the block was; we drove for four hours, couldn't find the block, then went back to camp and hung out. Admittedly, that was probably the best day of the season. I guess this makes up for the multiple times in the season we would return to camp from planting after 10 P.M.
Also, block access is really hit and miss. My camp was camped across the road from our 900,000 tree block outside of Gogama (hour out of Timmins) where the roads were all clear or on the block on a big network of blocks outside of Elk Lake. Actually that campsite was hilarious, were people were staying around slash piles and in planted land or had gone machete in the forest. That was pretty sweet, commutes were never longer than 15 minutes for that one.
Few other things:
- 6/1 shifts are standard practice. They never really bothered me, never having done it any differently, and they sure as hell give you legs for the season, but by the end of the week you're usually pretty burnt out.
- Pay is not biweekly, as seems to be the norm out west. This isn't to say they won't give you advances (they're very good about this), but if you want to see you're full earnings right away, you're out of luck. I haven't heard of anyone not being paid properly though, and errors of others' I knew of were fixed.
- Tree price is actually 7/8c + a 1c bonus which can be deducted for reasons including (repeatedly screwing up your trees, over and over, leaving caches/the block a mess, lipping off to your foreman, etc.) It's usually used as a way to keep people in line, which I totally understand, and people's bonuses don't vanish on a daily basis out of spite or anything, but it is something to consider.
- There is a week long training period for rookies where they are only with their foreman, paid minimum wage for 8hrs a day and they learn exactly what to do without having to worry about putting in lots of trees right away. I am of the mind that this is the right way to teach people and they do it well.
I enjoyed my time there as well, made lots of money (in terms of other jobs you get in Eastern Canada, way better than anything in the Maritimes) and it's a great place to get your foot in the door if you don't want to fly out west for your first season. They teach you to work hard and plant well and they pay you. Oh look, I did write an essay haha
Oh yeah, it definitely is. A&M is shite even with the new management changes. They run thinning quite well, but their planting is awful.prof wrote:Everything about this sounds way better than A&M in Ontario. If you have to work in "Onterrible", this sounds like a pretty solid place.
However, if you want to go Ontario, I would still reccomend trying to go with Haveman or PRT. PRT can be hit and miss, as I know several people who had a terrible experience at PRT, but most of the camps they run are supposed to be a really good deal. Haveman is a Christian company but as long as you don`t feel the need to wake up screaming "Fuck you, God", you should be fine. They have decent season length, good prices, decent land, and they treat their planters decently. From what I've heard from Ontario vets.
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