Frozen ground halts northern tree planters
Tree planters in northwestern Ont. say they are three weeks behind schedule
Hundreds of tree planters across the Northwest will have to wait for some warm weather before getting to work as the there is still snow cover in many areas.
For tree planters like Chris McCallum, the delay could affect his paycheque throughout the summer.
Usually by now, McCallum said he’d already be working in the bush. But he's heard from colleagues there's still a couple feet of snow.
"The ground's … still frozen and you've got to wait for it to thaw," he said. "Until that ground's like nice and soft, the trees can't go in there."
McCallum said a slow start means he may not finish his first planting contract in time to start a second — a reality that could cost him thousands of dollars, and his means to pay for tuition.
"A lot of the people that do it are university and college students," said McCallum, who has planted trees for the last six years.
"So if you can't work in July — and there aren't usually August contracts around here — you're kinda screwed for the whole year."
The president of Moose Creek Reforestation in Dryden said his crews are about three weeks behind this season.
"A lot of these people are students who … [are] anxious to get going," Scott Skene said.
"This is their summer job they've signed up for. And, if they don't get going soon they'll probably find something else."
Skene said he hopes to get his workers in the bush by the end of the week — that is, if mother nature co-operates.