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2003 season

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Treeplanting Information

How to join the BRUIN team

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Treeplanting FAQ


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Treeplanting Information


Job Requirements:

    Bruin's clients rely on us to provide a quality of products and services which will allow them to meet strict reforestation requirements laid out by themselves as well as Federal and Provincial Governments. As such, we require the same from our planters. Statistics are kept on every planter to determine the quality of their work, and full payment will be given only for work above 95% quality FROM DAY ONE. We train and coach our planters very thoroughly and most of them are able to achieve this. Substandard planting is remunerated on a sliding scale according to actual quality achieved. This payment system has been criticized among some treeplanters as having "hidden costs" or surprise fines. We have given the system deep consideration and the fact is that this is the only way of paying planters as much money we can. This system allows us to pay the best people more for the best work. Thus planters who excel in both quality and productivity can make extraordinary money. Our top producer last year was also among the top in quality and he made over $20,000 in three months. Payment systems in which the entire tree price is "guaranteed" must by definition take out risk off the top, thereby reducing the maximum amount of money available to planters. Any payment deductions that accrue from the client over the course of the project are taken out of the "risk", which is paid by all the planters (no matter how good they are) before they even strap on the bags. For this reason, criticism of payment systems such as ours generally arises from planters who want to plant sloppy quality and max out on productivity. Ironically, this is unnecessary because good planters can max out on productivity without getting sloppy on quality.
    Planting Contractors such as Bruin rely on having good clients to provide a good work experience for their planters. In order to obtain and maintain a good client base, we must provide them with a product and service level superior to our competition. For that reason, we need to have a payment structure that encourages good quality. This completes the circle, so to speak. Good quality = good clients = good money for planters = good quality.
    Planters are required to work in any and all conditions (rain, snow, bugs, mud, etc.) unless safety would be compromised. Planters must motivate themselves and be willing and eager to work at their most productive level at all times, taking and following instructions from their supervisors, while living cooperatively in a group situation (camps are usually 25 to 30 planters with six or seven staff members) functioning independently and being completely and totally honest.

Living Conditions:

     Living conditions in the bush can be extremely harsh and treeplanters need to condition themselves to deal with them. The weather is out of anyone's control, but the physiological demands of the seedlings don't become less important because it's cold out. Thus we work. It is important for planters to be prepared and equipped for these conditions.

     Bruin is famous in the industry for the quality of our food. Our trained and certified cooks prepare hot breakfast and supper and supply meats, vegetables, fruits, etc. for planters to make their own lunches. The meal fee, or camp cost is below industry average.

     Camp consists of one large (20'x45') dining ("mess") tent heated by a wood-burning stove, a smaller kitchen tent, a dry-shack' tent with an airtight wood-burning stove) for drying clothes at night, hot water shower facilities, outhouse tents and a food storage tent. All planters and staff must assist in camp set-up, which generally takes about half a day. Planters and staff provide their own tents and sleeping gear and make a home for themselves in the woods. Bruin provides a list of all planting and personal gear, required, recommended, suggested and optional at an information seminar we hold for our first year planters in April. The planting gear (bags, shovel, silvicool bags) can be purchased through Bruin at a reduced rate (around $140 total). We strongly suggest high quality personal equipment, particularly with regard to staying dry and warm on wet, bitter days.


What it Takes:

To merely survive as a treeplanter takes more personal fortitude than most people are willing to exhibit. To really succeed requires skills, ability and a certain attitude as well. Planters must be willing to make sacrifices and endure hardship to reach goals. They must be willing and eager to learn at every phase and able to be happy but not satisfied with the level they have achieved. Planters must have the natural ability to rise above circumstances rather than succumb to substantial obstacles. It's easy to become exhausted and depressed, but to succeed at treeplanting, individuals must maintain an even mental/emotional keel and convince their bodies there is energy somewhere in the reserve. Most of all, Bruin treeplanters must be totally honest and have our clients' best interest at heart. We work hard to make planter, company and client objectives the same, so that if everyone gives it his or her all, everyone wins. This is the basis upon which Bruin and its predecessor have succeeded for over thirty years.


Treeplanting Equipment List

Here is a list of items you'll need if you're thinking about planting trees for a summer.



Personal Identification (including Health Care Number)
Sleeping Bag
Tarp (big enough to cover your tent)
Ground sheet
Foamy or Insulite
Warm Clothing (Down Jacket or heavy sweater)
Work Pants (3 to 5 pair)
Work shirts
T-shirts and heavy duty shirt
Cotton Socks (as many as you're able to bring)
Sweatpants(something to wear at the end of the work day)
Good clothes (city clothes)
First Aid Kit
Alarm Clock
Running shoes
Pen and Paper
Walkman and tapes
Knapsack or hockey bag (preferably only one piece of luggage)
Other camping items (Knife, hatchet)


Shovel -- available to Bruin planters through Bruin
Planting bags (with silvicool inserts) -- available to Bruin planters through Bruin 
Gloves (winter, dishwashing and rubberized)
Rubber boots (must have steel toes)
felt insoles (3 pair)
Hiking boots
Grease pencil or waterproof marker
Rain Gear (pants and jacket)
Day pack
Lunch kit (tupperware or something durable)
Insect repellent (Muskol)
Canteen or waterbottle
Anakit (Bee sting kit)


Toiletries (toothbrush and paste, shampoo, soap, etc.)
Nail clippers
Foot Powder
Hockey tape
Duct Tape
Rope or twine
Needle and thread
Extra Blanket