With graduates facing a tough job market, more and more young people are making it tree planting a full-time career.
Photo Credit: Lindsay MacLean, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

Tree-planting becomes more than a summer job

Planting trees has been a tough but popular summer job for students, but more young people are having trouble finding full-time jobs in the fields they studied and are making tree-planting a full-time career. There are plenty tree-planting jobs available as provincial governments often insist logging companies replant what they have cut down.

The unemployment rate among Canadians ages 15 to 24 is at 13.6 per cent. The Canadian landscape is varied and often full of mosquitoes, and planting trees is not easy work, says Melissa Hakojarvi, co-owner of Treeline Reforestation, a company based in the province of Ontario. But it does pay well.

‘Tree planting is…draining’

“Tree planting is very physically and mentally draining, it’s very tough,” says Melissa Hakojarvi, co-owner of Treeline Reforestation, a company based in northeastern Ontario.

“Tree-planters tend to be money hungry, that’s the whole reason of doing this crazy, crazy job, is the money,” she adds. “When you’re dealing with all these elements – the bugs, the dirt, you know, the weather – if you’re going to do that type of job, you want to be paid better.”

Planting goes on in spring, summer and fall and some planters go to Australia to plant trees in winter. While more young people are staying with that kind of work, others are motivated to go back to school to try to qualify for something else.

Categories: Economy, Society

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