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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to commonly asked questions about going treeplanting.

What Equipment Do I Need? >

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For first year planters, there is a serious investment involved in gathering together everything you will need for the bush and in making your way to the contract.

It is not unusual for an inexperienced planter to spend $500-$1000 buying all the necessary equipment. Your best bet is to check out second hand stores and army surplus stores. But don’t be too cheap because you do want the big-ticket items (tent, sleeping bag, boots, shovel and bags) to last more than one season. Remember this is an investment that should last several planting seasons.

You are required to buy planting bags, a planting shovel, and steel toed boots. Depending on the requirements of a contract you may be required to purchase other equipment. In bush camp contracts you will need a tent and sleeping bag.

Note: Do not expect to buy anything once you arrive at the contract. Please bring everything you need with you. More information about this is available including store locations, equipment details etc., but since different projects have different requirements, you should confirm what you need after you are hired!

What is the Hiring Process? >

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How does our Hiring Process Work?

If you are returning to work with Brinkman, or have previous experience with a different company, simply fill in the experienced workers application found on the home page and menu. If you have a particular crew or location where you wish to work, note it on the application.

You can also apply for work if you are an inexperienced worker between January and May of each year. First gather as much information as you can – use this website and others to learn what you are applying for, and where you want to work. Then take the Tree Planting Quiz to see if you qualify to apply. After you have passed the quiz you will be able to fill in the inexperienced worker online application. 

What happens after I complete the application?

1. You will receive a pop-up confirmation on the website, and an email notice that your application has been received.

2. Applications are forwarded to the appropriate manager depending on your experience level and location request.

3. From January to May you can expect an update from someone within ONE WEEK of applying. Please reapply if you do not hear back within one week – your application may have not been processed. (Rare but it happens.)

4. Successful applicants will then go through our hiring process.

5. If you have questions, please email them to hiring@brinkman.ca.

Which Province Should I Apply For If I'm Inexperienced? >

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The quality specifications and the terrain are often more difficult the further west you travel in Canada – especially for the first year planter. Basically it is easier to learn how to plant a tree and to get up to speed in Ontario and so we traditionally hire more inexperienced planters to work there. Because of this, we have created a program which efficiently and effectively trains our first year planters and gets them up to speed quickly.

Another note: If you are hired to plant in Ontario for your first year, we do expect you to stay for at least two years before applying to plant out west. That said, the vast majority of first year Ontario planters choose to stay there year after year. You can make good money wherever you plant.

 

 

What Do I Have to Sign Before I Start Planting? >

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Brinkman requires that all planters sign a Planter’s Agreement when they arrive in camp. This outlines our administration practices and employment conditions. It DOES NOT commit you to pay any fines – whether for quality or leaving early or arriving late.

Brinkman does not impose quality fines on planters, but we do require that you rework any areas that do not meet our clearly stated quality standards. You are paid for trees planted that meet the quality requirements so it is important to plant the trees correctly the first time. We do not hold back any of your pay for any reason.

We also ask you to fill out an employee information form, a medical information form, a provincial tax form, a Canada Tax form and you may fill out an RWA form.

When is The Planting Season? How Long am I Expected to Work? >

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The main planting season across Canada is called the spring season and usually runs from May to early July, with regional variations. On some contracts, we only hire planters who are available for May, June and July. Often, there are additional summer contracts in various locations in July and August.

For people looking for more work throughout the year, the coastal season typically starts in February on the BC coast and runs until April (this work can be extremely difficult and is often restricted to experienced planters). Planters then join the spring planting in the interior of BC, Alberta or Ontario as mentioned above. Work on the coast starts up again later in the summer and runs from mid-august until October.

What Jobs Do We Hire For? >

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Here’s an outline of the positions we hire for regularly. All of these positions involve temporary relocation, typically living in bush camps in remote areas or hotels. Locations may vary – check the regional sections for ongoing updates. All positions are available to workers who are capable of enduring long days of difficult physical labour. For all positions, except cooking, workers are outside all day regardless of the weather.

Tree Planting

This is a piece-work job that involves carrying trees on your hips and planting anywhere from 500 (steep, BC coastal ground) to 3500 (easy, flat Alberta, Ontario ground) tree seedlings, everyday. Workers are set-up with area and given ongoing guidance from their crewboss (foreperson) as to where to work, what species to plant and to what quality specs.

Due to season length and difficulty of planting, our western crews are primarily made up of veteran planters, while our eastern crews tend to have more openings for rookies. On some projects, fertilizer and/or tree protectors may need to be applied at the time of planting.

Requirements: valid Canadian SIN, good physical health

Cooking

Everyone one of our temporary camps (bush, boat or other) supplies meals to the workers. Crew sizes vary from 15-100, but what doesn’t change is the high quality, exceptional food we provide – and lots of it. Cooking in a Silviculture camp is not easy – the days are long and conditions can be challenging. This is a very rewarding job though and is critical to a camp’s success.

Requirements: FoodSafe certification required. Professional cooking experience is essential. Previous experience planting, or cooking in bush camp, is an asset.

Quality Checking

Most planting crews have at least one person on staff that is dedicated to setting up and recording plots of the work as it is completed. Feedback is given to the crew for any adjustments required, and information is submitted to the client.

Requirements: good computer skills, silviculture experience, survey certification is required in some regions.

Field Management

Many opportunities exist for seasoned tree planters who wish to move into a different role. Every year we hire crewbosses (forepersons), tree delivery staff and supervisors to run crews. Contact one of our Regional Managers for more information.

Requirements: usually a minimum of 4 years tree planting experience.

Stand Tending 

Years after trees have been planted the plantation requires maintenance to ensure optimal growth. This term encompasses a few different jobs, namely:

Brushing – involves using either manual or power saws to cut back competing vegetation around the planted trees.

Spacing – involves removing selected trees so that there is more room and less competition for the remaining ones.

Pruning – involves cutting select branches off trees to encourage height growth and minimize disease.

Herbicide Application – involves spraying or using another type of application of products designed to kill off competing species. Certification required.

Tree Protector Maintenance/Removal – At the time of planting, various methods of protection might be applied to the tree to keep the deer and other rodents from eating the trees. Years later, these supplies need to be repaired or removed. This job involves snipping and removing the protectors and carrying them to the roadside for further collection.

Requirements: experience in stand tending and/or silviculture.

Surveys

This type of work performs various types of plots, primarily on existing plantations and provides information accordingly. Typically, there are small crews of 2-8 people.

Requirements: survey certification is required in some locations.

First Aid & Safety

Every crew requires designated first aid staff and at least one person to complete the administration of the Safety Program. This is typically done in addition to regular field work, planting or otherwise.

Requirements: first aid certification is required, but varies depending on the jurisdiction.

Allergies and Injuries >

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Tree planting is an extremely strenuous job that requires you to be not only in good health but in good physical shape as well. It requires that you work outside in all weather conditions. If you have any past or current chronic injuries, this may not be the job for you.

In addition, if you have any serious allergies to insect stings or nuts, it is important to be aware that we are often situated in remote locations far from hospitals.

Environmental irritants, like extreme dust or smoke, are also possible and might be a problem for people with lung conditions. These are things to consider when deciding on a work location. If you have concerns discuss them with us so we can help.