The tree planting industry has a very unique culture. Over the years, planters have come up with a huge number of terms to describe things or activities related to planting. Many of these terms will leave an outsider scratching their head in confusion. If you want to learn a lot of planting-specific lingo, there’s a huge dictionary on Replant.ca that’s about sixty pages long, full of terms you’ll hear in planting camps and on the blocks.
In the meantime, here are ten unique terms to get you started:
1) Microsite: The spot where you plant a seedling. You’ll want to look around and pick good microsites which are easy to work with, to lessen the amount of work that you need to do before planting a tree. Why pick a spot with thick grass roots if there’s exposed dirt just a foot away? You’ll be able to plant your trees faster if you pick the smartest microsites.
2) Screef: The act of preparing a microsite for a seedling to be planted. Most planting contracts no longer require extensive screefing, but you might have to move some sticks out of the way with your boot.
3) Plug: Most seedlings are now grown in trays at forest nurseries, so that the roots of each young tree is in a self-contained pod of dirt and roots, called the plug. The plug is the part of the seedling that gets planted below the ground surface level.
4) Cache: A temporary storage area for boxes of trees. Your crew boss will set up a cache for you, and every time you run out of trees to plant, you’ll come back to the cache to pick up more. You can also leave your food and water and backpack with other essential supplies here for the day.
5) Highballer: A planter who is very good, who usually has high production each day.
6) Rookie: A first year, inexperienced tree planter.
7) Vet: A planter who has at least one full year of standard planting experience.
8) Caulks: A type of boot that has metal spikes in the sole, similar to a set of soccer cleats. These spikes (which are also called caulks, the same as the boots) will dig into the ground or into wet and slippery wood, and help a planter keep their balance while walking across slash or across unstable ground.
9) Cream: Easy ground that has a lot of potential for high production.
10) Schnarb: Obstacles, bushes, vegetation, slash, and other wood and debris left behind after logging. These things make it difficult for a planter to move through a block. Planters would rather have a clean block than one with a lot of schnarb.