Step By Step covers the culture of the industry, what camp life is like, basics about tree physiology, an explanation of basic and advanced planting techniques, a study of how planting quality and density are assessed, site prep, working with helicopters, suggested gear lists, a planting dictionary with over six hundred definitions, and approximately twenty other full chapters. At five hundred pages, with over seven hundred photos to illustrate the contents, this year's edition has more than double the content of the 2018 edition, and is now the definitive textbook about tree planting in Canada. A full listing of the table of contents is included at the bottom of this post.
If you decide that you'd like to seek 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 also contains current contact information for every major tree planting company in Canada
Edit, April 13th, 2019: I'd like to thank everyone for the strong support. The 500th copy of Step By Step just shipped from Amazon this morning!
There are two versions of this book available. The content of each is the same, except that one is published in full colour. The colour edition is more expensive to print and publish! I now understand why textbooks are so expensive. I'd recommend that you save money and buy the grey-scale version, which is less than one half the cost of the colour version. The books are printed and distributed through Amazon, so I had to set the prices in US dollars. If you're shopping on Amazon Canada, the cost will be converted to Canadian currency. As noted, the content is the same in each version, but the grey-scale version is cheaper to print. Comparison samples of several pages can be found at the bottom of this post. Here are the buy links:
2019 Grey-Scale Edition: Amazon.ca Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk
2019 Full Color Edition: Amazon.ca Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk
Step By Step is also available for purchase at IRL Supplies in Prince George, the go-to source for planting supplies in northern BC.
The material in this book is already being used as a training framework at more than a dozen Canadian reforestation companies. Although I'm listed as the author, the book contains contributions from dozens of industry participants: planters, foremen, checkers, supervisors, company owners, and foresters. Depending on where you work as a first-year planter, your company may require you to purchase a copy of this book as part of your required gear list. Believe me, it will be worth it.
Let me give you some background about how valuable this book has been to the training of the first-year planters within my own camp. I've tracked the statistics on the average number of trees planted by my first year planters over the past seven years, to correlate their average production with the availability of this training information. Incidentally, I've also adjusted the statistics to compensate for any bias due to differences from year to year in prices and length of season, so the numbers can be compared as "apples to apples."
The process of getting this book together started in late 2014. Quite a bit of the training material was completed in time for the 2015 planting season, and I started to use it as the basis for training in my own camp that year. That year, the average production of my first-year planters jumped more than 50% from the previous year, and more importantly, that increase was sustained going forward. I then made major updates and additions to the material in early spring of 2018, which is when the first public edition went online. My first-year planters had further significant production gains after that (during the recent 2018 season). Here are the numbers:
2012: 50,771 trees per person
2013: 50,233 trees per person
2014: 50,979 trees per person
2015: 77,417 trees per person
2016: 76,597 trees per person
2017: 76,553 trees per person
2018: 94,818 trees per person
2018: 94,818 trees per person
For the statisticians here, I will offer the following notes:
- 2015 was the first year that I started using this material internally. Average production increased more than fifty percent compared to each of the previous three years.
- 2018 was the first year that I started using the enhanced material that is now available in the 2019 edition. Production again increased significantly, up 24% from 2017.
- The above numbers included ALL first-year planters in camp, regardless of whether or not they completed the season.- The above data was based upon a sample totalling 89 first-year planters over those seven years.
- 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. If you go planting in 2019, your investment in buying this book will be repaid many times over.
When I was a first-year planter, I received almost no training at all. I'm quite confident that if this book had been available at the time, I would have made thousands of dollars more than I did that season. That's been a big reason why I've put so much time into this project over the past several years. Tree planting is hard enough as it is, and planters deserve to have resources available that will help them make the best out of their seasons. Nobody should have to suffer through incompetence and a lack of training. Incidentally, many of the chapters have links to additional multimedia resources which have been designed to match closely with the content of the book.
If you've already been hired as a planter for this coming season, this book will be one of the best investments you can make. If you've considered becoming a tree planter, and you're trying to figure out how to get a job, this book will tell you how, but it may also help you determine if you're making the right decision.
Here's a quick visual preview of the contents:
If you're the owner of a large Canadian reforestation company and you're curious about potential discounts for arranging a bulk order, visit the following link:
For more books by Jonathan Clark, visit: www.jonathanclark.ca
Sample Pages (Color vs. Grey-Scale Versions)
The photos in the colour version definitely look a lot better than the ones in the grey-scale version, but to be honest, for the price difference, you're better off getting the grey-scale edition. Besides, I have special links at the end of each chapter that allow you to see all the photos online in full-colour, and at a high resolution. The full-colour version would be more suitable for public libraries.
Table of Contents
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
Personal Protective Equipment
Minimizing the Risk of Illness
Chapter 04 - “Working Safely, Hazards”
Personal Protective Equipment
Natural Worksite Hazards
Chemicals in the Workplace
Other Large Animals
Four Pillars of Safety
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
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
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
Other Tree Planting Books by Jonathan "Scooter" Clark:
Rite Of Passage
(Coffee Table Photo Book, Summer Work in Remote Tent Camps)
From Our Footsteps, Giant Forests Grow
(Coffee Table Photo Book, BC Coastal Tree Planting)