Last year saw an average recovery in tree planting prices across most of the province driven by the sector’s need to retain some profitability and improve workers’ wages and workplace conditions, particularly around safety.

Those pressures are expected to continue into the 2008 market as the sector is not out of the woods yet on the recruitment and retention matter and only beginning its entry into the SAFE Company Program and its safety certification requirements. Canadian annual inflation is running around a high 2.2 to 2.5 per cent rate measured this spring.

The general improvement in prices was not distributed uniformly across clients and tendering practices. Contractors report direct award trees were most resistant to price increases rising around five to seven per cent. Select invitation trees tendered on the market attracted increases averaging around 15 percent. Trees offered on the open market posted price rises over 20 per cent in many cases. Summer trees are proving cheaper than spring trees.

John Betts
Executive Director
Western Silvicultural Contractors’ Association
Phone: 250-229-4380