The 2023 edition of "Step By Step: A Tree Planter's Handbook" is now available!
Step By Step covers the culture of the tree planting industry, camp life, suggested gear lists, health and safety, basic and advanced planting techniques, understanding quality and density expecations, site prep, working with helicopters, a planting dictionary with over seven hundred definitions, and much more. A full listing of the table of contents is included at the bottom of this post.
If you're seeking a job as a tree planter in Canada, this book will guide you through the ins and outs of contacting a recruiter and preparing yourself for your interview. It contains current contact information for every major tree planting company in Canada. There's an entire chapter devoted to helping you secure a job, and Canada needs tree planters right now.
There are two print versions of this book available (plus digital editions in multiple formats). The content of both print editions is the same, except that one has a full colour interior. Here are the Amazon links:
2023 Greyscale Interior, $24.50: www.amazon.ca/dp/B0BW344XKQ
2023 Full Color Edition, $39.95: www.amazon.ca/dp/B0BW35YFRB
2023 Kindle Edition, $2.99: www.amazon.ca/dp/B0BXHF6G1Y
That's the lowest price that Amazon would allow me to set for the Kindle edition, but it's free if you have Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited.
To buy any of these editions from the US/UK/Australia, just change the .CA extension to .COM or .CO.UK or .AU (although I don't think that the full colour edition is available in Australia).
2018: 94,818 trees per person
- The above data was based upon a sample totaling 89 first-year planters over those seven years, or an average of approximately a dozen planters per year. Admittedly, this wasn't a great sample size, but I assume that the trend was not significantly biased by the small sample size, based upon surprisingly tight standard deviations.
- Based upon the numbers above, the average first-year planter in my camp in 2018 grossed about $13,100 per person for their full season, and this was before the major industry-wide price increases that manifested starting in 2019. As of 2023, thanks to a few years of increasing prices, I expect that most first-time tree planters (in my own camp) will probably gross between $16,000 and $20,000, as seen on my jobs page (and experienced planters will earn significantly more). If you take a new tree planting job, your investment in buying this book will be repaid many times over, no matter which company you work for.
Here's a quick visual preview of the contents (this video was made for the release of the 2019 edition):
Incidentally, I also have two separate coffee-table style photo books devoted to tree planting.
The first one is called Rite Of Passage. Rite Of Passage focuses on summer planting work in remote tent camps.
The other book is called From Our Footsteps, Giant Forests Grow. From Our Footsteps focuses specifically on coastal planting projects.
There are promo videos for those two books at the bottom of this post. For more tree planting books by Jonathan Clark, visit: www.jonathanclark.ca
Thanks for reading this far. I'd recommend that you now scroll back up through this post and get yourself a copy of Step By Step today!
Chapter 01 - “Introduction to the Industry”
A History of BC's Tree Planting Industry
The Modern BC Tree Planting Industry
Getting the Most Out of This Edition
Chapter 02 - “Why Do We Plant Trees?”
Overview of Forest Management in BC
Administration of Logging and Reforestation
People Who Should Go Planting
People Who Should Not Go Planting
Some Common Myths About Tree Planters
Chapter 03 - “Health”
Alcohol, Drugs, & Tobacco
Fitness & Avoiding Injuries
MSI's, RSI's, and Tendonitis
Personal Protective Equipment
Minimizing the Risk of Illness
Common Medical Issues
Chapter 04 - “Working Safely, Hazards”
Personal Protective Equipment
Natural Worksite Hazards
Chemicals in the Workplace
Other Large Animals
Four Pillars of Safety
First Aid Drills & Emergency Response Simulations
Industry-Certified Training Courses
Chapter 05 - "Vehicles & Transportation"
Commonly Used Trucks
Four Wheel Drive
Chapter 06 - “Rules & Regulations”
Employment Standards Act
Workers' Compensation Act
Minimum Camp Standards for Silviculture Contractors
Complying with Client/Licensee Policies
Camp-Specific or Crew-Specific Policies
Chapter 07 - “Camp Life”
Overview of Basic Structure
The Daily Routine
Your Cooks and Meals
When You're Not in a Tent Camp
Tips For Comfort
Chapter 08 - “Map Reading”
Other Map Features
Geo-Referenced Digital Maps
Always Know Where You Are
Chapter 09 - “Nature & the Environment”
Determining Direction from the Sun & Other Stars
Environmental Management Systems
Chapter 10 - “Basic Silviculture Knowledge”
Basic Seedling Physiology
Environmental Factors Affecting Growth
Basic Soils and Planting Media
Common Diseases & Insect Pests
Chapter 11 - “Stock Handling”
On Site Seedling Storage
Handling Seedling Boxes
Correct Handling of Seedlings and Bundles
Building Caches on Blocks
Unloading a Reefer
Stock Labelling & Sizing
Understanding Seedlots & Request Keys
Chapter 12 - “Common BC Coniferous Trees”
Other Important Species
Chapter 13 - “The Planting Prescription”
Assessing a Block
The Pre-Work Conference
The Silviculture Prescription & the Planting Prescription
Potential Non-Planting Components
Chapter 14 - “Planting Gear”
Miscellaneous Planting Gear
Budgeting For Your First Season
Chapter 15 - "Camping Gear & Clothing"
Toiletries & Medicinal
Camping Equipment & Miscellaneous Gear
Thoughts for Women
Chapter 16 - “Planting A Seedling”
Selecting the Best Microsite
Opening the Hole, Grabbing the Seedling
Planting the Tree, Closing the Hole
Practicing Your Technique
Chapter 17 - “Meeting Quality Requirements”
FS 704 System Overview
Specific Faults – Damage To Seedlings
Specific Faults – Microsite Selection
Specific Faults – Planting Quality
Chapter 18 - “Spacing, Density, and Excess”
What's In A Plot?
Plotted versus Planted Density
Target Spacing & Minimum Spacing
Missed Spot – A Quality Fault
Rationale Behind Density Variations
Chapter 19 - “Site Preparation”
Underplanting & Selective Harvesting
Reclamation vs Deactivation
Chapter 20 - "Additional Planting Techniques"
Line Planting vs. Area Planting
Fill Planting & Replants
Chapter 21 - “Maximizing Productivity”
Efficient Planting Techniques
Efficient Work Strategies
Chapter 22 - “Behaviours & Attitudes”
Maintaining the Health of the Ecosystem
Responsible, Safe, & Respectful Behaviours Toward Others
Interacting With Society
Treatment of Co-Workers
Chapter 23 - “Planting Throughout Canada”
The Atlantic Provinces
Planting Outside of Canada
Chapter 24 - “Applying For a Job”
What Makes a Person a Good Candidate?
How To Apply For a Job
You've Been Offered A Job - What Now?
List of BC Planting Companies
Chapter 25 – “Working With Helicopters”
Commonly Used Helicopters
The Phonetic (Aviation) Alphabet
Chapter 26 - "Coastal Planting"
Geographic Regions, Clients
Coastal Safety Tips
Pros & Cons
Chapter 27 - "Logging/Harvesting"
Hand Falling vs. Machine Harvesting
Roadside vs. Stump-side Processing
Log Loader & Logging Trucks
Chapter 28 - "Other Silviculture Work"
Chapter 29 - “Wrap Up”
Acronyms and Abbreviations