Not too sure if anyone will have interest but as the title says I've been planting trees for the past 8 years. My current total is just under 1.3 million trees. I have planted in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, and BC. I am currently planting on Haida Gwaii, BC. I'll be at work planting all day and unlike many of you cannot reddit from work but will check up on this thread after work around 6PM PST Ask me anything about the job in general or specific contracts.

Proof: (this is not my 8 year total, just from a pay stub I could find)

EDIT : Hey guys just got back from planting Ill start making my way through the questions and answer what I can as soon as possible -

Comments: 2057 • Responses: 10  • Date: 

kandyaufman519 karma

So uh how much money do you get paid for being awesome and planting all these trees? And also how did you get into the tree planting business?

PlantSomeTrees726 karma

I've been paid anywhere from 6.7cents to 1.05 dollars for a tree, it all depends on the contract specs, your location, and the land you are planting. An average day is $300-500. I got into it like many others Canadians as a summer job during university, is a good source of job links, now I plant 8 months of the year. I'll elaborate more tonight but have to run for work

Maxdecimeri79 karma

I too am interested in how you went about finding a job planting trees all over Canada. Seems gratifying. Wonder if the u.s. has an equivalent. Good work by you.

PlantSomeTrees110 karma

hope this helps - ive worked with americans they just need visas

Dezcabezado232 karma

Former planter here. Describe your worst/most grueling contract.

CloneCmdrCody180 karma

Describe yours!

Dezcabezado221 karma

My worst was my first. Planting in Ogoki Ontario. The town that used to house the laundry, shopping and general day off facilities had basically shut down when the lumber mill there closed so our nearest patch of civilization was about 2 hours drive away in Geraldton. As a result instead of a 5 on one off cycle we did 10 days in the bush before getting two days off. We also had to pay for motel rooms out of our advances where motels would take us in at all. So 10 days without clean clothes or showers etc... On top of that heavy rain had washed away a lot of the logging roads into the blocks we were planting and our only Bomby (think of a big metal shelf on top of tank treads) broke down on our first day into a particularly remote block so we had to hump in our trees each morning. The bags of trees contained 400 saplings each and were soaking wet so they were really heavy. This particular block was 9km from the road so the first 1 1/2-2 hours of each day on the block was a brutal hike (not to mention the hike out at the end of the day). Where we could we would spend hours building makeshift roads so the 4 wheelers could bring trees in. For anyone interested planters get paid by the tree in most cases, so any time you aren't putting trees in the ground you aren't being paid. After that block we had another nightmare piece where the roads were so bad we actually had to take small boats down a river to get to the land. Again this really slowed the rate of trees planted. Along with that we had all the typical stuff, planing in snowstorms, rain, bears, etc... A friend of mine actually wrote a play about it which I think he just made into a film. But honestly this is not even the worst story I've heard about a nightmare contract. I'm sure after 1.5 million trees OP will have a similar one.

PlantSomeTrees12 karma

I planted that Ogoki contract for Wilderness for 3 years, I started the year after that I heard horror stories of that year

PlantSomeTrees111 karma

My worst most grueling contract would have to be my rookie season. In a camp with 100 rookies and 10 vets in northern ontario, Nakina to be exact. It rained day in and day out and we had no Dry Tent so we were sleeping in wet clothes to try and dry them out over night, it rained to the point our 6 shitter holes in the center of camp overflowed while we were at work and flooded peoples tents with shit water... not mine thank god. Anyways the moral was just super low and with so few vets there was no where to look for guidance or support, but camp life saved it for me. After making it through that however I knew I would never quit ---- Edit oh and did I mention mosquitoes and black flies as thick as fog that you're inhaling and blowing out of your nose all day

sugoimanekineko230 karma

1,300,000 trees in 8 years, assuming a maximum of 365 working days per year with an 8 hour working day, that's one tree every sixty five seconds (assuming my maths is right).

My question is how did you work out this number and how is that possible? I can only assume that what I am imagining as planting a tree is not the same as what is actually involved. What exactly is involved in planting a tree? Do you plant a lot in one hit with seeds or maybe you have some kind of tree cluster bomb that you drop from a plane?

EDIT: Thanks for the explanations guys - I thought that the numbers sounded sort of unbelievable, but now I understand it a bit more OP's stats are remarkable and super impressive. To all of you planting trees at this insane rate: I'm glad I don't have to do your job!

PlantSomeTrees18 karma

I am being paid on by the tree, I track how many trees I plant every day. On my pay role It gives me a tree total and companies will give you a season total. this is one of our cedars so you have an idea for the tree size, in some places like has been mentioned it takes 3-5 seconds per tree. Where im working right now we have to plant a wooden stake a foot deep and place a plastic cone around the stake and tree for protection from deer eating them

ptrix151 karma

How do your employers ensure that workers' "total tree count" per shift is accurate, and that they aren't artificially inflated to make some extra bucks?

for that matter, how do they verify that every sapling is planted successfully, and not haphazardly dropped onto the ground, and what are the acceptable rates of tree damage that would leave a sapling unable to survive?

DeusDeceptor146 karma

In the morning exact numbers of trees are taken before going to work. So you would have (for example) 30 boxes of pine with 21 bundles of 20 trees. So 12600 trees. At the end of the day you do a count of how many bundles remain and work out the difference, then you compare that difference to your planters' reported numbers.

If there is a difference there are a couple of ways to figure out who is doing it. You can shuffle around the crews and see if the problem follows anyone in particular.

This is separate from a related problem where people report accurately how many trees they take out to the block, but instead of planting them, they wait until they are alone and then bury a select amount. To catch people doing this you pretty much have to just spy on people while they work. It can also become apparent if you have planted a piece to a precalculated density with a precalculated number of trees and there is still space unplanted. In this case, someone might be overreporting how much they planted. In my experience those density and area numbers were unreliable, so I'm not sure if that is an effective way to catch people.

I should add that it is usually fairly easy to tell if someone is fudging their numbers. Everyone works together all day long, even if someone might be out of sight for a little bit. You get a sense for how fast everyone works and will know if they all of a sudden are planting more than you without physically planting faster than you out on the block.


About tree quality. Group managers were responsible for checking quality. So for every block we worked there are a certain amounts of "plots" that needed to be taken. You take a 4 meter cord, stake a point, and then inspect every tree within the radius of that cord from the central point. You check for spacing, species mixture, and individual quality. Then the manager can identify which planter is doing shitty work and go yell at them. I'm not sure what our exact requirements were but I think it was around 95-98 percent had to be acceptable quality trees.

in_n0x70 karma

Since you sound like you're in the industry (industree?), is there any way this dude actually planted 1mm+ trees?? My natural bullshit meter is going nuts over here.

Edit: Thanks for the replies, folks. I'm convinced.

PlantSomeTrees22 karma

it all depends on where you're planting as well. In ontario and quebec I had many days over 5000 trees at 0.08 whereas on Haida Ill plant 400 at 1.05$ and 400 at 0.20$

PlantSomeTrees34 karma

There are multiple ways your quality and numbers are verified. To start with every planter(s) are given a cache of trees these trees are tracked by box size, in X number of bundles of Y amount of trees per box. By this this know how many trees are taken from each cache to prevent overclaiming. Each planters piece size is also know and based on contract density its pretty easy to know how many trees roughly will go into a piece, if a planter is putting too many tress into a piece its either high density or stashing and will be found by the company.

Other than that our quality is checked by our company and the forestry client checkers, they throw 1/200 ha or 1/100 ha plots a throughout your piece to verify quality

a_guy_named_max107 karma

What's your favourite tree?

PlantSomeTrees21 karma

Sitka Spruce or Red Cedar

M_ouserat71 karma

Ever come across anything like this?

PlantSomeTrees8 karma

Yea that's a pretty stereotypical picture for the girls on the crew

iaalaughlin13 karma

You, personally, have planted this many trees?

How long does it take you to plant one tree? What kind of trees are they?

PlantSomeTrees5 karma - It depends on the land but 3-6 seconds straight plant in nice land, but much longer in tougher land. But the price is adjusted for the land.