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Plantation d'arbre en Colombie-Britannique
Credit: Benoît Blanchard

200$, 300$ and even more per day, that’s the amount a good tree planter can earn a day. Hard to believe? Across Canada, many individuals, younger, elder, have been doing this job for a long time. Is this job for you?

A day as a planter
At about 6h in the morning, after a short night because of the wildlife surrounding the lake beside your campground, you get out of your sleeping bag and put on your work clothes that are still cold.  You savor your breakfast in the office tent, which is used as the basic camp for the whole team of about 12 to 45 people. Then you leave for work, all packed up in a 4x4 pick-up.

After putting about 200 to 300 trees in your bag, you leave, shovel in hand, on a ground that really doesn’t look like a farmer’s field. It is really a ground full of trunks, branches and rocks. You shovel, put a tree in the hole and cover it. Multiply this action hundreds of times and you have the description of a planter’s job. It is a physical job, but first of all a psychological job because you must have a good moral. Your salary only depends on your productivity. The first days are the most exhausting and the ones where you earn the less. With time and patience, you will discover certain techniques by observing the most experienced. These tricks will help you get better and you won’t waste your energy.

Back at camp at about 5 p.m., you take a shower before preparing your supper and your meal for the next day. Finally, at 9 p.m., you leave the fire place and return to your sleeping bag where you go to sleep and think of what you will do with the money you are earning each day.

If living in the outdoors and hard work don’t scare you, this experience could be of interest to you. It’s a very good opportunity to pay for your studies and to earn some money for a trip.

For more information
Here are two helpful Internet links for your job search: www.tree-planter.com and www.canadiantreeplanting.com.  This site gives lots of advice on the necessary equipment and some comments on the employers. Have a good visit!