Looking for a Job? Equipment Lists Coastal Work

Monday, February 19, 2007

Treeplanting 2006 "Motivational" Video

Here's a little slideshow I've done using a shitty program available for free on the web, thus the little glitch at the beginning and the program's advertisement at the end...

I took some of my 2006 pictures and made them into a parody of motivational posters usually seen in waiting rooms.

The song (yep, a treeplanting song) featured is This Vibe, by Jen Plummer, a former camp cook (a great one!) and a talented artist who would sometimes play around the campfire despite the long hours cooks have to endure. She didn't work in the bush last year, but still paid a visit to a few Outland camps for a "tight bush tour", as she puts it. You can visit her website at jenplummermusic.com.

YouTube link here.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Looking for a Tree-Planting Job?


You are looking for a treeplanting job this season? Are you experienced?

Sadly, if you're not, it's not the best time to get in, as the future of the industry is looking grim.

If you're looking for a Coastal job, be sure to check this post.

It's still possible to get a job, but due to the forestry industry's problems, many reforestation companies are diminishing their operations due to less contracts, bidding lower on the contracts they won or they'll simply plainly fold for the upcoming season. Therefore, there's more experienced planters to be hired for less interesting jobs and potential first time planters have to look more and accept less interesting offers in order to secure a job.

If they'll hire rookies at all, most companies will accept references from their current planters, so contacts are the key. This is especially valid on the Coast in British-Columbia, but it spreads elsewhere. Ontario might be your best chance.

It's doesn't mean you have to abandon if you're really motivated to get in, just that you'll have to knock at a lot of doors, and very often at the same ones!

If you apply on a website or by email, your application form might be queued while they are sorting and filling their last positions, so it will be important to remind them often that you're interested..

I'd suggest hitting replant.ca's job-market message board, as there is many foremen/crewbosses looking to fill some spots in their crews, as well as some companies hiring (by posting their job offerings there, they have better chances to hire veterans). Most are looking for experienced planters, but I've seen many messages open to rookies or not specifying. You could also try the featured companies section on tree-planter.com, but the chances of securing a job are less likely as most company info refers to their websites and/or their normal hiring process.

There is chances that any currently available positions will go to returning vets who didn't yet decide whether to go back to the bush or not. Your only chance would be as a replacement for any last-minute withdrawal, and in order to secure such a job, you will need to get on the waiting lists and show your determination by constantly reminding any potential employers and hirers that:

1) You exist.
2) You would be the best choice for the job.
3) You need money and it is your sole motivation, but you can deal with the lifestyle and the hard work.

Also, accept that nothing you have ever done will prepare for a treeplanting job, even what seems to be a similar experience (sports, landscaping, outdoors activities and jobs, the military), but don't let it stop you from stating such experiences.

As for the companies' reputation, I'd suggest doing a little investigation. Canadiantreeplanting.com used to be the best site for this kind of info, but it's been down for quite a while and it seems doubtful it will ever be back in full force. You might try the company forum on replant.ca and ask around (cross your fingers).

For additional info about getting hired, you might need to look at this tip page and/or this McGill University handout. Websites such as Hardcore Treeplanters and Treeplanting Online are also very good resources for general information about the job.

As said before, take your chance if you're a rookie, but expect to be on a waiting list and don't stop there, knock on every door!

Hurry up, get your shit together and good luck!

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The worst reasons for wanting to be a tree planter

Here's a few classical interview answers given by people who were NOT HIRED to plant trees, as seen on tree-planter.com. Enjoy and/or take notes!

Crazy Interview Question Answers

These are actual interview responses to that all important question, "Why do you want to go treeplanting?" Some of these are truly unbelievable! Needless to say, they likely did not get hired.

"I want to have the tree planting experience."
"I think it would be fun."
"I want to meet new people."
"I want to try it out and see if I like it."
"I like camping."
"I'm majoring in Forestry."
"I'm not going to make money, I'm going to fulfill some personal goals."
"I've never been to Northern Alberta/B.C."
"My girlfriend/boyfriend is going."
"I want to get out of Leduc."
"I want to save the environment."
"I want to break even and lose 10 pounds."

Sure, there are lots of great aspects to tree planting and the lifestyle that goes along with it, but if you are not prepared to thrive through the intense challenges of the job, you are going to hate treeplanting. Make sure you are going for the right reasons!

What are the Right Reasons?

"I need to make money for ____________". Now that one just might drive you to put an extra box or two in the ground each day. Or it could help you pick your butt up off the log at the cache when the weather gets crappy. Planters with a strong need or visualized dream are more likely to be consistent and hard working planters.

"I am very competitive and I have a strong desire to be one of the best in a tough industry where physical input and mental stamina will prevail." A good reason. I'd still like to see the need for cash.

There's a lot more of those gems at both the tree-planter.com website and the replant.ca message board (Links available in the sidebar)

Labels: , ,

Monday, February 12, 2007

A different pace...

Here's a video showing how treeplanting is done on British-Columbia's Haida Gwaii islands (Usually known as Queen Charlotte islands, the native Haida name is slowly getting recognition), home to one of the most beautiful national parks in North America, according to the National Gepgraphic; the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, protected under joint federal and Haida legislation.

As you can see, this is a much slower pace than "conventional planting" as the tree planting process takes longer, due to additional measures to protect and make sure the tree will grow healthily. Access to this region is hard, either done by boat and/or helicopter, and coastal treeplanters are usually more experienced than other planters elsewhere in Canada, as most moved to the coast after a few years of faster ground planting.

The main advantage there is that trees are worth more (can sometimes be more than a dollar per tree), and you therefore need to plant less trees to make good money. But the quality standards are quite high and you might sometimes need to plant numerous species of seedlings in a small area, or plant really rocky or slashy terrain. Finally, despite the West Coast being milder, temperature-wise, it's also rain paradise (or hell, depending on where you stand). So, you need to know your shit, and those guys desserve their money!

Also, while on the Haida Gwaii tree subject, please check out the following New Yorker article, about an environment activist who cut a rare and very old tree to make a point. An interesting reading.

Labels: ,