Get to Know Our Summer Students - Tree Planting Auditor

July 13, 2017

Sandra Mae Watling is a second year Forestry student at the University of New Brunswick's Fredericton campus. This summer she is one of the 110 students working in J.D. Irving, Limited’s (JDI) tree planting operations. Sandra Mae is a tree planting auditor, following behind the planting crew to ensure that all trees are planted to a quality standard. The nine auditors across the company are looking for quality indicators as they check their plots. Indicators include ensuring that seedlings are spaced appropriately, planted at the correct depth and that seedlings aren’t damaged or leaning. 



“I get to experience the job first hand, get a feel of what I’m going to be doing after I graduate. It’s great to get that experience,” says Watling on working as an auditor. 

The data that Sandra Mae and the other auditors collect is inputted into GPS enabled smart phones while still in the plot. Automated quality report emails are sent out twice per day to crew chiefs and supervisors. Auditors, like Sandra Mae, do a minimum of 30 plots per day, leading to approximately 15,000 quality plots checked per season.

The trees we plant make a tremendous contribution towards the reduction of greenhouse gases. In its lifetime, the average tree will absorb approximately 1 tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2). Over the next 50 years, the woodlands we own or manage will absorb over 92 million tonnes of CO2. That’s equivalent to taking 18 million cars off the road for one year. 

Since 1957, JDI has planted almost 1 billion trees. Celebrating 60 years of tree planting in 2017, JDI will plant 16.5 million trees during the 2017 planting season. 

We would like to thank everyone involved in tree planting operations, like Sandra Mae, for their contribution to growing a sustainable forest for future generations!

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