Tree Planter


Tree planters plant seedlings and often select and prepare sites for tree planting. For example, a tree planter might use a shovel to clear away debris before planting young trees in the soil. Tree planters work for logging companies, tree planting companies, and contractors.

Close up of the ground with hands planting a seedling

At a glance

Imagine yourself working outdoors in the clean mountain air, feeling a light breeze and the warm sunshine on your face. Today, after an early morning drive with your crew down rough logging roads, you arrive at the worksite—commonly called the cut block. You load up your hip bags with bundles of young saplings and begin the task of planting hundreds of trees in this difficult terrain. You are a tree planter, and you have been assigned to restore the forest in this area.

Your job requires you to perform manual tasks that include tree planting, harvesting, and spraying operations. With a few years of experience, you may get the opportunity to manage other tree planters or be assigned to check how well they’ve planted their trees. You work in remote areas and share a tent and camp duties with up to 100 other people, some of whom have already become life-long friends.

After a morning of tree planting in this quiet valley, you scan the landscape and smile as you imagine how it will look in the years to come. Even though the hours are long and the work has been difficult, you are happy knowing that you have helped to restore the habitat that this forest once provided for wildlife. You feel great about making a positive impact on the Earth’s health and sustainability.

Job duties

Duties vary significantly from job to job, but the following list includes typical job duties one might encounter as a tree planter:

  • Unload seedlings from trucks
  • Water seedlings regularly
  • Prepare sites for planting
  • Plant seedlings

Work environment

Tree planters work in a variety of locations, including, but not limited to:

In the field:

  • Set up a remote camp
  • Perform camp duties, such as washing dishes
  • Unload trees from the delivery trucks
  • Plant trees
  • Transfer trees to different locations

Where to work

  • Federal, provincial government departments
  • Parks
  • Private tree planting companies

Education & requirements

The minimum educational requirement for a tree planter is a high school diploma. An advanced education in forestry will make you more competitive in the job market.

If you are a high school student considering a career as a tree planter, you should have a strong interest in:

  • Physical education
  • English
  • Math
  • Science

Salary

An entry-level tree planter makes an average of $4,000 per summer in Canada.

A tree planter with several years of experience makes an average of $7,000 per summer.