Mud, Sweat and Tears: The Gruelling Life of a Tree Planter

Jonathan 'Scooter' Clark, above, has worked as a tree planter in British Columbia for 25 years. Photo: Replant.ca.

Jonathan ‘Scooter’ Clark, above, has worked as a tree planter in British Columbia for 25 years. Photo: Replant.ca.

When Jonathan “Scooter” Clark began planting trees for a living in 1990, his work camp was “bush league” at best. By comparison, the modern-day tree planters seem like a spoiled bunch. “We had two station wagons in our first camp, and a couple of two-wheel-drive trucks,” said Clark, 46, who works in a camp that today uses all-terrain vehicles, four-wheel-drive trucks, and even helicopters.

“When I started, first aid was rudimentary,” he continued. “We had no such thing as dry tents.” As most tree planters can attest, a dry tent is both a refuge and a stink shack: a communal place where planters can hang their wet and dirty clothes to dry after a day spent working in the rain and mud. In the new age of tree planting, the thought of not having one in camp is just cruel.

“Over 20 years, I think camps have gotten a lot better, the industry has gotten a lot safer. A lot more money has gone to comfort,” added the 25-year veteran…

Read the rest of the article on the Tyee

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About Jon Hernandez

Jon Hernandez is a Journalist, Tree Planter, and current student at UBC's Graduate School of Journalism. He holds a Bachelors of Arts from UBC Vancouver, and has worked for such publications as The Region and Sustainability Television. View all posts by Jon Hernandez

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