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Expanding Our Roots

A Day in the Life of a Silvicultural Supervisor
Brent Rangen- Tolko Industries- Lumby, BC

5:46am: My alarm rings and after hitting snooze a couple times (and an irate comment from my wife) it’s time to get up. It’s my busiest time of year…mid-June and tree planting is getting close to wrapping up, site prep is underway.

6:25am: Time to hit the road, after a quick stop by the office to download the previous day’s planting quality plots and grab an extra planting access overview map for the contractor, it’s off to Abbott Road to meet with the crew for a safety meeting and talk about planting quality.

7:35am: After another quick stop for fuel (gas and coffee), I arrive at the block. The crew of 25 planters is there and keen to get some trees in the ground…but first the weekly safety meeting. Of course bears are discussed as well as overhead hazards, bush driving and emergency escape procedures. Next is planting quality… I emphasize density, rooting medium, and proximity to stumps and obstacles…all issues I have been finding that can use some improvement. Oh yeah, can’t forget stock handling, there is always room for improvement. Questions are answered and now the crew can go to work!

8:22am: A quick discussion with the planting foreman about overflow seedlings and the work plan for the week, then I have a walk behind some of the planters to check their trees and make sure they are on track.

9:05am: I move down the road a few kms to a completed block and throw 5 quality plots to see how things are looking. I enter the plot data in the PDA and it comes out at 94.9% quality...good news for the contractor…93% and above means full payment. The next block is not as good, I’ll remember to have a talk with the planting foreman about this one… the density is a bit low and hit those obstacles! Now it’s off to check on site prep, I’ll have a bite on the way and remember to call the office to check in for noon and change my location.

1:15pm: I arrive at Beattie Rd. Two excavators are working just down the road, but first I’ll stop and see what they accomplished since my last visit. Two blocks have been stumped due to root rot concerns. My post treatment inspection reveals that we did the right thing, about 15% of the stumps are infected with Armillaria. Good thing the root rot was identified and factored into the appraisal. That’s enough root rot to severely infect our upcoming plantation if the block hadn’t been treated. The stumping treatment looks good, a few stumps were missed by the operators, but only because they were too small to see from the cab of the excavators.

2:25pm: I move down the road to the block where the two  excavators are spot piling logging slash. As discussed in the pre-work, they are careful to only treat the areas that have a thick slash matt and could not be planted without site prep. They are leaving the large logs scattered out on the block and building some small piles that will be left on the block for wildlife habitat…excellent, Rob will be happy that we are meeting our CSA indicators. After walking some of the ground they have treated, I discuss the results, work plan and answer questions. The equipment will be moving on to the next group of blocks soon, so I make arrangements to meet later in the week and go through the pre-works with the crew.

3:50pm: Time to head for home, I have to remember to check-in again with the office or Lori will send out the search party!!

6:45pm: After dinner, I have a quick look at the seed transfer spreadsheet to see where the planting contractor can put the overflow trees from today, then a couple of phone calls and I can call it a day…It’ll be nice when planting wraps up and I can take a breather!!


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