“The hiring process for tree planters is stringent,” writes Liz Rubincam, who photographed a tree-planting operation near Kamloops, British Columbia, after having worked for a similar outfit herself in the 1990s. She adds:
In my first year as a crew-boss in Nipigon, Ontario, I remember a particular rookie who seemed destined for greatness. He had completed numerous triathlons and displayed tenacity and drive in the first few days of the season. Part way through the first week, it rained all day in the land. While doing my afternoon rounds of the crew, I was surprised to find him sitting on a log, crying and asking to call his mother. He quit the next day. Time and time again, it’s clear that there is no one recipe for success and survival in a tree-planting camp.
Today is Earth Day 2013, a good time to revisit Liz’s photo essay on reforestation. See more photos on the Reportage Web site.
Caption: Tree planters for Folklore Contracting Limited during May of 2009, near Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. Efficiency and hard work are key factors to making money as a tree-planter, and breaks during the work day are kept to a minimum. (Photo by Liz Rubincam/Reportage by Getty Images)