A tree planter with a special shovel smiling as he works

Tree Planting

Tree Planting at A+G

Working at A+G means that you are determined and motivated. You are trained beyond the standard requirements. You work hard in the field with a team of qualified planters, seasoned project managers, supervisors and owners. You continually demonstrate your work ethic, your grit and your stamina. You build your skills, your output and your earnings.

Qualifications

To work as a tree planter at A+G you need to check off all the items on this list:

  • You can legally work in Canada
    You must be able to legally work in Canada with a valid SIN or current work visa
  • You are healthy and physically fit
    Tree planting is extremely strenuous and requires that you be in excellent health and good physical shape to be successful
  • You are available for all of May and June
  • You plan to plant for more than one season
    Becoming an efficient and productive planter takes time and practice. Your first year is an investment. It’s only worth planting if you plan to work for multiple seasons.
  • You are mentally prepared for the challenge of outdoor work in all weather conditions and mountain environments
    You are willing to live and work together with a diverse group of people in remote settings
Optional Qualifications

Here are some additional qualifications you might have (but that aren’t required):

  • Level 3 Occupational First Aid (OFA) or WorkSafe BC Approved Equivalent
  • OFA 1 + Transportation Endorsement or WorkSafe BC Approved Equivalent
  • WFCA or other Driver/Crew Vehicle Operator Training
  • ATV Operator Training
  • Power Saw Operator Training
  • Danger Tree Assessment Training
  • Silviculture Crew Boss or Forestry Supervisor Training
  • Resource Road Truck Driving - RD-03
A young man tree planting on the worksite holding a special tree planting shovel
"You continually demonstrate your work ethic, your grit and your stamina. You build your skills, your output and your earnings."—A+G
Your Success

Your success as a tree planter depends on three primary things.

You need to work smart
Hard work alone won’t make you a great tree planter - you need to focus on results and efficiency. When you do both of these things you can unlock your full potential and maximize your earnings.
You need to be respectful
We live and work together during a short and intense season. You need to be respectful to your colleagues, supervisors, and clients. We expect that each of our employees treats one another with mutual respect at all times.
You need to be adaptable
We see a lot of variety in our work. Whether it’s planting on steep cable-logged blocks or flat trench ground, the variety of terrain and planting specifications you’ll encounter require versatility and adaptability.

Your Potential

Earnings

You are paid per-tree so that you get paid directly for your efforts. If you are dedicated, motivated and hardworking then you’ll make more money.

Your managers and supervisors focus on full days and work hard to maximize your production potential for the season. Our crew leaders are exclusively non-commission to help foster a fair working environment.

The overall season average in 2018, including rookie and experienced planters, was ~$274 per day. Our top producer’s average daily earnings are generally between ~$400 and $500 per day. Our top 3 producers had best days over $600. In 2018, the most earned in one day was $621.44.

Payment and Expenses

Payroll is processed every two-weeks. Each two weeks you will receive a formal pay-stub detailing your planted trees, rates, taxes, vacation and holiday pay. All payroll is via direct deposit.

You will be required to pay for certain expenses. These include travel costs to get to the project location, and to leave - at the start and end of a contract. Your personal gear (clothing, planting tools, camp equipment if required, etc) are covered by you. If you’re staying at an A+G camp, you’ll need to find your own food on days off. If you’re required to stay at a motel, you will have to cover all of your food costs on work days and days off.

A young woman tree planter holding a special tree planting shovel plants a seedling
"Hard work alone won’t make you a great tree planter - you need to focus on results and efficiency."—A+G
Your Path

After your first successful season of planting at A+G, there are more opportunities for you. We value returning employees who have demonstrated their capabilities, and who bring familiarity with A+G’s operations and culture.

Apply as an Experienced Planter

If you return to plant the following season, you’ll enjoy having - and building on - a higher level of experience including your planting technique and efficiency. This equals a higher potential income for your second season.

Gain More Skills and Responsibilities

There are also opportunities for those who want more responsibility such as drivers, first aid attendants, power saw operators, and ATV operators.

Become a Contract Wildland Firefighter

A+G will recruit planters for fire crews. There is often an information session available around June, for those planters interested in the work. A+G firefighters are contracted by the Ministry on an ‘as-needed’ basis. So there is no guarantee you will fight fires, but if there is a demand and you meet the requirements, we will do our best to get you on a crew. Learn More...

Become a Crew Leader

Crew Leader supervisory positions require planting or fire experience, an OFA 1+TE, S100, driver and DTA training. Tree planting crew leaders must have at least a few seasons of planting experience. Often, we will require applicants to have planted with A+G before taking a Crew Leader position. Fire Crew Bosses are trained once they have acquired a certain amount of experience on the firelines. Learn More...

Your Schedule

The planting season at A+G usually starts in early May, but earlier work sometimes begins in April. The season usually ends in mid-July. Typically, you are assigned to a crew for a project by mid-March - That’s when you’ll find out where the project is located and many other details. We aim to confirm start dates 2 week ahead. The planting season is tied to the Spring weather and snow melt, so we set tentative start dates in early March, but these frequently change due to the weather conditions. We start planting once the snow has melted and the ground has thawed.

Your shifts follow a 3:1, 3:1, 4:2 schedule. Sometimes the day off falls on a weekend, and sometimes during the week. Ideally, planters will get 10 working days and 4 days off over a 14 day period. An average day on the block lasts 10 hours.

A young woman tree planter prepares more saplings in boxes to be distributed to the tree planters for planting
"If you are dedicated, motivated and hardworking then you’ll make more money."—A+G
Your Camp and Equipment

Life at camp is not the life of luxury, but it has everything you need for an excellent low-frills work experience. You share the communal spaces like the mess, the showers and the like, while keeping your personal space in the way of a tent, or a hammock for the more unencumbered types. Temperatures can drop below 0ºC at night (or even during the day), or weather can bring rain for days - so a tent is recommended for keeping you and your gear dry.

  • Special Notice About Camp Costs
    Recently, there has been a movement across the silviculture industry towards companies paying camp costs on behalf of their workers. A+G is supportive of this movement, and starting in 2019 are removing camp and motel costs. We think this is an important step forward for our industry, and for all silviculture workers.

Camp cooks provide 3 meals a day for you on your working days. On your days off, you’ll supply your own food, but can have access to the cooking equipment at the camp if you want it. The kitchen staff can accommodate vegetarian diets if they know in advance. Other dietary restrictions must be discussed at time of hire, so that we can confirm the ability to accommodate with the Kitchen Staff. If the specific restrictions/allergies can’t be accommodated, there may be options to work on a motel-based crew.

There’s also the chance that you’ll be assigned to a project that won’t have a bush camp. In this case, you’ll be put up in a motel and make your own food.

The nature of your assignment will have all of the details you need to pack your personal equipment. And once you’re sure you’ve covered the need-to-haves, you can see if there’s still room for that guitar, or penny flute, or karaoke machine.

At any rate, a list of mandatory equipment will be provided to all crew members within a month of the project start date. Planters will be responsible for showing up with required gear on the first day of work.

Two young tree planter men having food together in the mess tent
"Life at camp is not the life of luxury, but it has everything you need for an excellent low-frills work experience."—A+G
Your Training

You will receive an orientation and training prior to starting work. Training for planters starts on the first day of the project at the assigned project base location. You’ll be trained on the operational specifics of the contract, as well as for the special jobs you’re assigned.

As a rookie, you’ll get an initial five days of on-the-job training. Experienced planters will get a half-day of training on the first day of their project. We provide job-specific training for drivers, ATV operators, first aid attendants, power saw operators, and firefighters. We encourage our applicants to seek out training for these skills in advance of applying for these positions.

A group of trainees learn about ATVs
Your Location

Most of our work is in the Southern Interior of BC. Project bases change depending on the location of work - but generally we have crews around Princeton and Kamloops. Accommodation details and directions to project base locations are sent out via emails to staff within a month of the first day of work.

A Letter from Chris

"Tree planting is a job unlike any other in our country. Working in the remote forests of BC is one of the last truly pioneering experiences available in North America. Employees are paid by piecework, so the hardest working, most productive people can really be successful. The work environment can be rugged but the scenery and landscapes are among the most beautiful in the world.

The piecework system and the tough working conditions attract a particular brand of person. That person enjoys a physical challenge, seeks adventure, has the mental strength to push themselves, and finds regular employment dull. The unique conditions foster a special sense of camaraderie and friendship. Planters are always interesting people each with a different story to tell.

There is nothing quite like the satisfied feeling at the end of a tough day’s work, physically tired but proud of one’s accomplishment in planting forests for the future. It is hard to find any other employment that offers the same daily feeling of accomplishment. For many, it is the lure of the woods, the friendships, and the hard work that draw them back to A+G Reforestation year after year."

– Chris Akehurst, Owner

FAQs

Do you charge camp costs?

No. There has been movement in the industry to remove camp costs. A+G is supportive of the removal of camp costs across the industry. So, we (A+G) are removing camp and motel costs starting in 2019. These costs do not include the cost of food in motels, or the cost of food on days off in camp. We think this is an important step forward for our industry, and for all silviculture workers.

Do you allow dogs?

Yes. Dogs are permitted on the block but this is project dependent. If you travel with a dog, please get in touch with us to let us know.

How much money can I make?

Our planter average in 2018 was $274 per day (including rookies). Our top producers averaged between $400 and $500 per day. Our top 3 producers had best days over $600. In 2018, the most earned in one day was $621.44.

How long is your average spring planting season?

On average, 45-50 production days. That said, A+G planters have always been successful in finding more work over the summer for an extended season.

I have dietary restrictions. Can this be accommodated in camp?

We can accommodate vegetarians in camp. Due to the remote nature of bush camp, other dietary restrictions must be discussed at time of hire, so that we can confirm the ability to accommodate with the Kitchen Staff. If the specific restrictions/allergies can’t be accommodated, there may be options to work on a motel-based crew.

What is the best time to apply to A+G for a planter?

We accept applications all year round. We encourage everyone to apply early because our crews fill up quickly. We begin confirming hires for the Spring season in November. Most of our hiring takes place between then and February.

How do I know if there is work available?

Call us, or send an email. We’d be happy to hear from you and talk about what you can bring to the team.

Can I request a specific project location?

Yes you can. We do our best to accommodate, but we will shift crews around as needed to maximize productivity.

Can I ask to buddy up with a friend on a project?

You can. We do our best - but remember that each applicant must be hired independently.

Is there a waiting list?

Yes. Our crews fill up early, but we do keep a waiting list of applicants that would like to work with us.

What’s the best way to apply?

Apply directly to A+G Reforestation by clicking 'Apply Now' in the menu bar.

A young woman tree planter stands holding her meal and waving at the camera
"Camp cooks provide 3 meals a day for you on your working days"—A+G