Planting trees is a major part of reforestation projects commissioned by logging companies to rebuild forests that have been cut down. Millions of trees are planted every year by professional tree planters who live in, or travel to, remote wilderness sites to plant seedlings. Backyard gardeners may also find themselves planting trees to start their own shade grove or orchard of fruit trees. Special equipment is used by professional planters, and some backyard gardeners, to make the job easier.
While standard spades can be used to plant trees, professional tree planters or backyard orchardists who want to minimize their work load should invest in a tree-planting shovel. Made of stainless steel, these tools are rounded or pointed with a narrow width designed to create the deep, narrow hole needed to insert a tree seedling. The shovel will also have a "kicker"--a built-in ledge designed to be kicked to help drive the tool into the ground. The kicker may be symmetrically located on both sides of the shovel blade, or asymmetric for right- or left-footed individuals.
Bucket or Belt Harness
Professional tree planters will wear a harness from which the tree seedlings hang so that the planter can carry multiple seedlings at once and plant at maximum speed. Home gardeners who aren't planting a large number of trees can use a sturdy plastic or metal bucket that is big enough to accommodate the seedling and thick enough to not crack under the seedling's weight.
While home gardeners can often get by with standard boots and gardening apparel, professional planters must wear clothing that can withstand the often brutal weather encountered in wilderness planting plots. Apparel includes rainproof jackets and rain pants, as well as boots with a deep tread to help the planter scale uneven, loose ground.
Individuals who work as professional tree planters often live at campsites, where specialized equipment like sleeping bags, tents and portable cookware is required. Travel to these sites may also require equipment such as helicopters or all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).