Getting a job as a tree planter is so exciting, but there really is a lot to take in for the tree planting newbie. The job itself can be pretty gruelling and there’s a whole host of new words to learn. Tree planter lingo is a lot of fun, and knowing what these words mean before you start looking for a tree planting job can definitely help you along. Here are the top 10 tree planter terms everyone should know!
A cache is a storage area for boxes of trees. These caches are deployed to tree planting sites. Often they’re located near camp sites. Each cache can hold 50 to 100 boxes of trees. Slowly, the tree planters empty out these boxes and get the trees planted where they’re needed most.
A block, sometimes called a cutblock, is a section of land that has been cleared by a logging company, requiring reforestation.
A greener, or a rookie, is a tree planter experiencing their first year on the job. “Rookie” is the term most commonly used at planting sites in western Canada, where “Greener” is more common in eastern Canada. Don’t worry, if someone calls you a greener, know that it’s just an acknowledgement that you’re new!
“Cream” is the term applied to very nice land for tree planting. Think “cream of the crop.” Cream is typically land that is free of obstacles and other things that might slow you down. Having a creamy piece of land means you’ve got an easier period of work ahead. But take heed, you need to share the creamy land with others. If you hoard parcels of land that you know will be creamy, you might be dubbed a “creamer.” And no one wants that!
Schnarb is a slang term for all of the annoying obstacles you experience on a piece of land, should that land not be creamy. These obstacles include fallen logs, tall grass, bushes, and various thorny plants. Schnarb can apply to living and non-living obstacles.
No one wants to be called a creamer, but everyone wants the title of highballer! A highballer is a planter who consistently plants the most trees in the shortest period of time. They often record big tree planting tallies at the end of the day and are the ones greeners should look up to!
Aside from highballer, vet is a sought-after term. A vet is refers to a veteran tree planter. They’ve completed at least one spring or summer season of planting and have returned for another year. Tree planting is a hard job, so vets deserve some respect for coming back!
A c-cut is a commonly used shovel technique where you slam the shovel into the ground and push forward in order to create an opening in the soil. The shovel forms a “C” shape, thus the name! From there, you slide your seedling in against the back of the shovel blade.
A plug is a small seedling that has grown enough to be planted into the ground. Its root system is encased in a small package of dirt. They get their name because it looks a bit like you’re plugging these trees right into the ground.
Unlike a plug, a bareroot is a seedling that does not have a lot of soil around its roots. The roots aren’t usually trimmed and can be very uneven. The roots of these trees are usually tied up by a piece of string.