Notes from the Field


Two springs ago – in May of 2009 – I left
my shovel in the shed. For the first time
in 14 years, I paid rent in the city, and
neither reprised the dance of planting nor
the crewbossing of the last nine seasons.
Instead, silvicultural work became the
spring and summer focus of my MA thesis
which shifted me from fourteen seasons
of ‘doing’ to one season of articulating
the labour of implementing the forester’s
prescriptions. The thesis traced the ways
treeplanters, and treeplanting management
staff, function as invisible transcribers on
the map of reality of these paper and digital
prescriptions. The thesis explores the point
past which foresters are no longer able to
implement – to actually make material –
their prescribed renewal program. From
this beginning point until the trees are in
the ground, the thesis explores how the
outcomes foresters prescribe are wholly
in the hands of the silvicultural workers
and so highlights the role of professional
silviculture practitioners.