Planting trees is what we’re all about. That’s why we plant 10 trees for each item purchased in our store! It wouldn’t be possible without a legion of hard working tree planters. We don’t personally hire tree planters at this time, but lots of organizations are looking for work. Check out our careers page if you’re interested in working with us!
If you’re interested in planting trees there are lots of options, from New Brunswick to coastal British Columbia. But before you apply, make sure you’re the right person for the job!
Are you 18-years old, or older? Do you have financial need? Would you be willing to sleep outside for three months, and are you capable of working more than seven days a week? Can you handle mosquito bites on mosquito bites? Black-flies? You’re not intent on saving the world this summer, are you? If you answered yes to all of these questions with exception to the last, you might have a chance of finding work as a tree-planter.
The question of where to go tree planting starts with where you live and how far you’re willing to travel. Since tree-planting can be a bit of an investment in the first year, especially if you don’t currently own planting equipment and camping gear, find work as near to you as possible.
Once you’ve decided that you definitely want to go tree-planting and are sure that you’re capable of committing to the full spring and summer, you have to find a planting company to work with.
Networking is the greatest tool here. Social media has turned six degrees of separation into three. Ask a friend who has planted for an introduction to their crew boss.
Email or call prospective crew bosses as soon as you have their contact information. They’re trying to put together a 15-person crew as soon as they can, and spots fill up fast.
But before emailing crew bosses personally, apply online. A lot of companies have websites these days and many of their websites will have online applications. Fill out applications and wait to be contacted while you network.
Your application and any communication you have with tree-planters or management should always express a motivation to make a lot of money and a willingness to work long, hard hours to make this money. Crew bosses do not hire people who are looking for a new experience or challenge, have weight loss goals, or want to expressly “heal the earth”. Financial need is imperative, and anything else should be considered an auxiliary benefit.
To explain this better, crew bosses are paid a percentage of what their crew earns in a day. Like any good tree-planter, a crew boss wants to earn the most money they can. They have 15 factors to consider in order for this to happen — tree-planters. A crew boss will not forfeit a spot on their crew for someone who isn’t motivated by money.
If you’re successful in verbalizing your need to make money and the crew boss is convinced that you are physically fit, personable, capable of taking instruction and won’t quit over minor discomforts, you will get a job.
You found a job and got hired. Nice work, now let’s go shopping!
Start with making a list of everything you think you’ll need and refine it based on communications with your crew boss and tree-planter friends. Remember, most everything you’ll bring will end-up broken or lost. Pro tip: use a sweater as a pillow.
When buying gear for the planting season, keep it simple, pack light and don’t break the bank — or your student loan account. Puruse kijiji for a lightly used tent, order a new set of planting bags and shovel, buy an affordable sleeping bag, hit the salvation army for button ups, t-shirts, wool sweaters and quick-dry pants then throw it all in an old hockey bag.
You’re standing at home now with a hockey bag full of wool, a shiny new shovel and a twinkle in your eye. You’ve got to get to where you’re going. My best advice on this matter is don’t feel hurried. Buy your plane, train, or bus ticket later than you think you should.
Tree-planting start dates are so tentative, it hurts. If it snows, or April gets cold again, your start date will get pushed back again. The fast acters end up paying more in deferment fees then the last-minute, seat-of-your-pants types. Your planting company will not reimburse you for these charges.
Be there on time to meet your new family. Never ever be late for anything and always be on your crew boss’s good side.
Pro tip: If your crew boss has a propensity to favor some planters, they’ll give you better land and you’ll make more money.
Stay safe and good luck.
Thinking a tree planting job isn’t for you? Interested in jobs working with animals? Here’s 5 wildlife-based careers that require no college degree.