Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Canadian Tree Planting Books

I thought I'd make a page here to summarize some of the books that have been written about Tree Planting in Canada.  This page lists more than a dozen books, including three that I wrote and published myself.   A handful of the books at the bottom of this list aren't actually about tree planting, but they're related to Canadian forestry.  Support Canadian content!

Title:  Step By Step, A Tree Planter's Handbook (2023 edition)
Author:  Jonathan "Scooter" Clark
Content:  A comprehensive training guide and reference manual for Canadian reforestation workers.
Published:  2023 Link, $24.50 greyscale interior: Link, $39.95 full colour interior:
More Info (and digital editions):


Title:  Highballer
Author:  Greg Nolan
Content:  Memoir
Published:  2019 Paperback Link: Kindle Link:
More Info:

Title:  Nahanni Reforestation
Author:  Nahanni Arntzen
Content:  A Collection of Historic Tree Planting Photographs
Published:  2014
Buy Link:



Title:  The Tree Planter's Survival Guide
Author:  Kevin Miller
Content:  (Almost) Everything You Need to Know to Become a Tree Planter and Survive Your First Season
Published:  2019 Paperback Link: Kindle Link:
More Info:

Title:  From Our Footsteps, Giant Forests Grow
Author:  Jonathan "Scooter" Clark
Content:  Photographic insights into British Columbia's coastal tree planting industry.
Published:  2019 Hardcover: Softcover:
Kindle Store:
Apple Books:
Google Play:
  (Note that you may have to change the Google Books settings from "Flowing Text" to "Original Pages" on some devices, in order for the formatting to display properly).

More Info:

Title:  Rite Of Passage
Author:  Jonathan "Scooter" Clark
Content:  A photographic introspective of the Canadian tree planting industry, based upon the experience of planters working in remote tent camps in the Interior of western Canada.
Published:  2019 Hardcover: Softcover:
Kindle Store:
Apple Books:
Google Play:
  (Note that you may have to change the Google Books settings from "Flowing Text" to "Original Pages" on some devices, in order for the formatting to display properly). 

More Info:

Title:  Eating Dirt
Author:  Charlotte Gill
Published:  2011

Title:  Six Million Trees
Author:  Kristel Derkowski
Published:  2016

Title:  Handmade Forests
Author:  Helene Cyr
Published:  1998
(This one is fairly hard to get now, although you can often find used copies from Amazon resellers).

Title:  Whatever It Takes
Author:  Nick Kaminski
Published:  2006
(Quite hard to find, not currently available online).

Title:  Pounders
Author:  Josh Barkey
Published:  2016

Title:  To Plant Or Not To Plant (That Is The Question)
Author:  Byron Goerz
Published:  1996

Title:  We Will All Be Trees
Author:  Josh Massey
Published:  2010
(The only science fiction book here about tree planting).

Title:  The Book Of Tree Planter Suicides
Author:  Toby Pikelin
Published:  2013
(This is a free one, just check out the link).

Title:  The Overstory
Author:  Richard Powers
Published:  2019
(Not about planting, but great fictional story with lots of factual info about trees).

Title:  Big Lonely Doug
Author:  Harley Rustad
Published:  2018
(Not about planting, but a great non-fiction book that reminds us of the importance of old growth stands).

Title:  Empire Of The Beetle
Author:  Andrew Nikiforuk
Published:  2011
(Not about planting, but close enough, and a fascinating read).

Title:  The Golden Spruce
Author:  John Vaillant
Published:  2006
(Not about planting, but a lot of planters have really enjoyed this one).

For more information about tree planting in Canada, visit:


For more books by Jonathan "Scooter" Clark, visit:


Monday, January 09, 2017

Potential Bumper Sticker Designs

I'm considering printing some bumper stickers.  I did this once in the past, almost ten years ago, but at the time, bumper sticker technology was a lot more primitive.  The original ones were pretty boring, just green letters on a white background.

I was playing around with some potential designs this afternoon, and came up with three so far.  Let me know which one you think is best?

Edit:  I eventually decided to print some of each.




Sunday, January 08, 2017

Sharon Moalem's "Survival Of The Sickest"

I read a lot of books, but I'm not frequently motivated to write a review of these books.  However, I just finished a book that one of my tree planters recommended to me, and I found it to be a great choice.

The book was written by Sharon Moalem, a Canadian doctor with a Ph.D. in human physiology, specializing in neurogenetics and evolutionary medicine.  The book is non-fiction, and is best suited for readers who have at least completed high school biology, or who have a basic understanding of genetics and/or medicine.  But this is far from a textbook.

Rather than going into a traditional style of review, I'm instead going to just list a handful of subjects that the book talks about, in point form.  This alone should be enough to let you know whether or not you might find it to be interesting:

- Many people are familiar with the practice of "bleeding" a patient, which is a practice that happened with the earliest recorded history, and which for some time in the modern era "made no sense."  Well, consider the fact that iron is a critical mineral for human life (I didn't realize how critical until I read this book).  What if there was a disease (there is, called hemochromatosis) in which a person was unable to "use up" the iron in their body, and the amount stored kept growing?  Too much of a good thing is sometimes bad, and this oversupply of iron can happen.  With a lack of other easy ways to remove iron from the blood, "bleeding" a patient sometimes IS a good practice.

- People with hemochromatosis have too much iron in their bodies, as noted above.  But even though their bodies are littered with iron, one important place where this iron doesn't collect is in the white blood cells.  The bubonic plague of the Middle Ages was a bacterial disease in which the infectious agent entered the white blood cells, and the iron in the white cells was an important part of the growth of the infection.  But people with hemochromatosis lucked out.  In many cases, the lack of iron in their microphages protected the human from the disease.

- There's a great section talking about Diabetes and sugar intake (I'll have a lot less sugar in my coffee from now on).  The number of obese children in north America today is staggering, and getting worse.  Many of these children are getting diabetes, as a tie-in to their obesity.  I won't get into the diabetes section in depth, but it taught me a lot about how to should think about certain lifestyle changes.

- The pituitary gland is indirectly responsible for the production of melatonin, which helps prevent skin cancer.  But the pituitary gland gets its information from the optic nerve.  Wearing sunglasses will trick the optic nerve, and affect your melatonin production, which can put you at much higher risk for skin cancer!

- There is a theory that the reason people often sneeze upon exposure to bright sunlight is because when we still lived in caves, if a person sneezed upon coming out of the cave into bright sunlight, the sneeze might dislodge microbes and molds from the nose or upper respiratory tract.  I hadn't heard this theory before.  I actually disagree with it, but it's interesting (my theory is much more basic, namely that a sneeze is intended to possibly help divert your stare when you look at the sun, to avoid damage to your retinas).

- The last ice age ended not over a slow change of a few thousand years, but rather, over an unbelievably rapid global adjustment of just three years!  This has staggering implications upon climate change theory today.  We could mess up our planet far, far more quickly than we currently believe.

- Human females tend to be more likely to conceive males during "good times" and more likely to conceive females during "tough times" (this refers to a very macro scale, as in global conflicts and disasters, not a temporary challenge such as "I broke a coffee mug half an hour before we had sex).

The book also goes into discussions such as:

- Why Asians often have such an intolerance to alcohol.

- Theories on better ways to prevent cholera outbreaks.

- How sunspot activity (and solar radiation) may relate to some past global influenza epidemics and pandemics.

- The relationship of telomerase to the Hayflick Limit to cancer to longevity.

- Why some diseases are passed down directly from woman to granddaughter, rather than woman to daughter (because when a female is conceived, her lifetime supply of eggs is already in her body when she's still a fetus - thus the eggs that produce the next generation were actually carried inside the grandmother's body when the mom was not yet born).

Phew, this post has covered a lot of ground.  Well, if all of the above is of interest to you, then you're going to learn a lot from this book.

Happy reading ...

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