Plantninja is moving to a bigger and better space!

December 5, 2008

Thank you all for following this blog experiment so far. Enough of you have paid attention to warrant a move to a real space on the web.

Therefor, I am pleased to announce the launch of Your definitive web resource on all things tree planting.


p.s. All the content has been moved to the new site, so check there for older posts.


Back in the saddle.

November 17, 2008

New posts coming, I promise. Pics, links, and hopefully gear deals. Stay Tuned.



July 14, 2008

Sorry for the hiatus, but there is planting to be done. Look forward to pictures, videos, stories, and hopefully some guest writers to come in the off-season. And of course the usual info and gear updates.


More on boots…

April 30, 2008

Here are a few pictures I took this morning of my boots from last year compared to what they looked like at the start of the season. As you can see, they take some ware! These boots are the Zamberlan Vioz GT’s, and I can’t say enough good things about them. Light, comfortable, and durable. They are a little on the pricey side as far as boots go, but I wore them everyday last season and they will be going out for another this year.

Some advice I would like to pass along is to a) load them up with a couple coats of water repellent, and b) Shoe Goo the toe caps and heal seams, especially where the rubber meets the leather. Do both of these while the boots are clean and dirt free and your boots will last far longer than a season. I Shoe Goo’d the pair in the picture about 4 cycles in after I noticed the leather was getting rough on the toes and heel. Putting a good thick layer of Goo on before the boots see action will allow you to screef to your hearts content without worrying about putting a hole in them.


Boots 2

Boots 3

Boots 4

As you can see, the tread takes a beating after repeated screefing. The hole you can see in the middle of the sole only happened on the second last day of the season. I plan on Shoe Goo-ing it up and running these boots into the ground this season.

Planting slang.

April 27, 2008

Here is a fun list of tree planting specific terms that may help you rookies decipher a sentence like “There’s cream behind that slash pile, now get your ass out of the crummy and POUND!”

This list has been straight plagiarized from T. Colin Strong’s study on the tree planting specific lexicon that we all know and use, despite the bewilderment of our non-planter friends.

The whole paper can be read here.

1) easy-to-plant land? cream

2) difficult-to-plant land? shit, schnarb

3) the debris left on the ground after logging? slash, sticks, litter

4) the land on which you plant trees? block, piece

5) the layer of moss and twigs above the soil? duff

6) vegetation on the land you plant? green, natural

7) dark, wet soil? organic

8 ) sandier soil? mineral

9) ground left just as it was after it was logged? raw, unscarified

10) the person who runs a single crew? foreman, crew boss

11) the person who runs a group of crews? supervisor

12) someone who plants many trees a day? highballer

13) a first-time planter? rookie

14) an experienced treeplanter? vet

15) the vehicle that brings you to and from your worksite? crummy

16) what you use to carry the trees while planting? bags

17) where you do Number Two in camp. shitter

18 ) painful afflictions of the hand? the claw

19) numbness in the foot? Christmas toe

20) trees that come with exposed roots? bare root

21) where you store trees during the day? cache

22) the bag from which you pull trees while planting? draw bag, trigger

23) rolls of long, thin fluorescent plastic strips? flagging tape

24) a bent root? j-root

25) when trees arrive in the box with bent roots? nub

26) trees that come encased in dirt, with minimal root exposure? plug

27) the truck in which trees are stored? reefer

28 ) a poorly planted tree? slut

29) single-person, four-wheeled off-road vehicles? quad

30) where you get and eat your food in camp? mess tent

31) the act of planting a line away from the existing line of trees? ghost lining

32) planting as hard as you can? pounding

33) the start-of-contract morning meeting with mill representatives? pre-work

34) redoing work due to poor quality? replanting

35) the action of kicking away debris to clear the ground? screefing

36) hiding or throwing away trees? stashing

Another gear list.

April 8, 2008

With planting season less than a month away, it is time to start thinking about what you are going to bring. here is a nicely formatted gear list that you can print off and use while packing to make sure you’ve covered everything. Use it in conjunction with the other gear lists I’ve mentioned in former posts, and you should be pretty set up for the season.

Gear List

The three week hurdle.

April 3, 2008

As the title alludes, your third week of planting will be the biggest hurdle of your rookie season. The infamous third cycle is known throughout the planting world, and is marked by a peak in bitching, whining, and usually quitting. The reason, which is often overlooked by quitting rookies, is that the third week is not only when you peak in physical pain, but also in mental suffering as you battle up the learning curve. Your body has been adjusting for 3 weeks, and is just getting to the point where you will start to develop your bush legs, but not quite. Be patient. Take it from someone who’s been there, the rest day at the end of the third cycle will be the tipping point in your planting career. If you can make it to the 4th cycle, you will most likely finish the season. You will also be reaching the gradual plateau of a learning curve with a steep beginning, but slowly climbing tail.

My advice to you is to recognize that this will be your toughest week. Recognize that the pain, and mental frustration that you are experiencing this week will pass, and if you can conquer this, the most difficult of cycles, the rest of your season will be easy. The money will come, your crew will bond, and you will become a person you’ve never known before.