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Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Difference Between Fast and Slow in Ontario.

Ontario planting is usually, but not exclusively, done on flat, fast land. Often, the land will be prepared by machines, so you'll basically plant directly in the organic soil thanks to various forms of land scarification (furrows, trenches, mounds, burns). The tree prices being lower, you have to keep a fast, steady pace and plant a lot of trees to make good money.

This video was titled "Pounding in Trees" on YouTube and it gets a beating in the comments section. Watch and judge:



Thought it was indeed pounding trees? That he planted fast?

Nope.

Here's my friend Jay Van Dyke, planter, crewboss, deliverer and comedian extraordinaire, planting at a much faster pace:



So, potential rookies, can you tell where's the difference, apart from sheer speed?

It's all in the execution. The first planter screefs with his boots when it's not necessary and uses the kicker on his shovel to get the blade deeper in the ground, while Jay uses his motion, and arm strenght to get the shovel deep in the ground and only screefs when necessary.

Furthermore, notice how Jay always have his next tree in his hands by the time he's about to put the shovel in the ground. "Mr.Pounder" does that as well, but it takes him so much time to dig the hole that it kills the momentum.

A little trick: Remove kickers from your shovel. Workwizer shovels don't have any, which is a good thing as it doesn't get stuck on vine, branches and logs as much, but mostly as it doesn't create the bad habit of kicking the shovel in every time you dig a hole. If you buy a BushPro shovel, cut the kicker off. If you can't do it yourself, auto repair or welding shops, or even Canadian Tire, could do it for you.

It's also important to note that the scarification here, furrows, allows you to plant in a basically straight line (sometimes the furrows aren't that straight, nor are they necessarily that "creamy", with soil exposed), while this type of planting wouldn't necessarily be the best in unscarified land, where "area" planting would probably be a better choice.

Finally, it's hard to judge quality while watching a video, but it seems "Mr.Pounder" plants a few leaners, while, apparently, Jay plants a duff shot. Depending on the contract's quality, and if it's not the exceptionnal tree, it could mean you could be replanting those trees a little later...

And if there's anything worse than planting trees, it's planting trees for free!

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