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Forestry Planters

Job Description

Forestry Planting - Job Description

Rodco Forestry Ltd has been supplying forest owners with a full range of forest establishment and silvicultural services since 2000. We know that we can only be as good as our average worker, with this in mind we offer the best in training, and support to our staff.... We need to be a good employer!

For your safety we require all workers to be drug free. All successful applicants are required to pass a Pre Employment drug test and maybe subjected to random drug testing.

(Rodco crews have more than 4 million trees to plant this winter.)


The vast majority of plantation forests in NZ are planted in fast growing exotic trees, mainly Pinus Radiata. Forests are generally planted on land less suited to livestock or agricultural farming. The terrain is often steep and erosion prone. Worksites vary from comparatively easy terrain with little or no hindrance. Through a steep cutover (recently harvested forest) with high hindrance. The work is as physically demanding as it gets. It requires the ability to work in cold and wet conditions. As work is usually undertaken in remote locations. The planting season is due to start on the 25th May and expected to carry through into October.


All trees are planted by hand using a specially designed planting spade. Planters normally carry up to 100 trees in a planting bag worn on the hip. When full these bags approx. 5kg. All employees receive comprehensive training to ensure that they understand the requirements of the job and are able to work in a safe and productive manner. Trees are planted at a stocking of around 1000sph (trees per hectare) or 3.3m x 3.3m apart. It is important that the correct spacing is achieved. This is to maximise the tree survival rates and productivity, the correct planting technique must be used. - We plant our trees to thrive not just survive!

Release Spraying

Some clients require that the ground around newly planted trees are sprayed with a herbicide to reduce competition from surrounding weeds for light, nutrients and water. When applied at the correct rate it has no effect on the planted tree. The herbicide is applied using a 15 litre knapsack sprayer. Care must be taken to ensure that no trees are missed and the correct dose is applied.

Tools and Equipment

Rodco will supply the planters with tools (planting spades, planting boxes, etc.) necessary to carry out the task in a safe and productive manner. Planters are responsible for looking after these tools.


Rodco is responsible for providing it’s Planters with all personal protective equipment suited for the task. This includes; canvas leggings, certified forestry boot & gloves for planting. PVC leggings, forestry boots, mask & gloves for release spraying. Replacement of lost or damaged tools and equipment is the responsibility of the employee. Costs shall be deducted from your wages.


Workers should expect to earn between the equivalent of $20 to $35 hour depending on ability. Payment starts $20.00/hr (trainees). Once the trainee averages more than 80% of the production target he will effectively be earning more than $20 per hour, at this point he will move from $20.00 per hour to a tree rate ($200/ the production target) Top planters should expect to learn at least $35.00/hr. Non productive time such as travel and meetings shall be paid at a rate of $20.00/hr.

For example, On a typical day. Pay for an average worker may be, as such:

Planting - 950 trees @ $0.23ea                  = $ 218.00                                                                                                                                        Travel 60 minutes travel @ $20.00/hr          = $  20.00                                                                                                                                        Meeting 15 minutes meeting @ $20.00/hr     = $   4.75                                                                                                                                                                                                                  $242.75  Please note: that this is just an indication. Incomes vary considerable                                                                                                               depending on your ability.

Working Hours

Work will normally be Monday to Saturday, 8 hours per day. Travel time is generally outside of the 8 hour working day. Travel time is normally paid. Leave shall only be granted when absolutely necessary. Unjustified absences are not tolerated!

Locations and Accommodation

Rodco worksites are located on the East Coast from Gisborne to Wellington. Normally in remote locations. Accommodation is normally farm/backpacker style accommodation and provided 7 days per week. You will be required to supply your bedding and contribute to the cost of food.


Due to the work environment and physical nature of this job, applicants should be;

• outdoor fit and prepared to work to the best of their ability

• able to be challenged physically and mentally, can strive to achieve targets.

• reliable and punctual

• able to work as a team member.

* be of sober habit particularly during the week.

After one week of on job training followed by another two weeks of work experience it is expected that workers will have completed training and be able to work in a productive and competent manner. A fit and productive planter is expected to be able to plant 750 to 1200 trees per day, depending on the individual planter and conditions on the day.

Forestry Planters

Rodco Forestry Ltd

Job type:

Full Time