In the pre-dawn hours of July 18th, Antoine Moses, a 22-year-old Canadian tree planter, set new world record for planting 23,060 trees in 24 hours straight – a tree on average every 3.75 seconds.
Two Canadian tree planters, Antoine Moses from Blue Collar Silviculture and Kilty Elliott from Summit Reforestation, each supported in a collaborative effort by six-person pit crews, planted trees in a cut-block managed by Tolko Industries 100 km south of High Level, Alberta, in an attempt to set a new world record for planting trees in 24 hours by a single person.
The weather conditions were perfect, long daylight hours with approximately 19 hours of light, overcast skies, a high of 16 C and a low of 5 C and a light rain for close to half the day. For the five hours of darkness the pit crews provided light with high intensity lamps. The planting was documented using the guidelines laid out by Guinness World Records.
After 14 hours and 51 minutes of straight planting, Moses had surpassed the old record of 15,170 trees held by Kenny Chaplin, set in 2001. “I smiled all the way through and said thank you 500 times, what we do together is so incredibly fulfilling,” said Antione.
Chaplin started his planting career at 18 and at 51 is still planting today, “We’re all telling our own amazing stories. Congratulations Antoine and Kilty, it’s about time”, said Kenny Chaplin.
Through the same 24-hour period, the 23-year-old Kilty Elliott planted a staggering 18,500 trees.
Moses and Elliott together planted 41,560 trees in the 24 hours. This is what an average crew of 15 would plant in a day’s work.
“This took everything I had, and I left it all on the block. Antoine Moses has the heart of a lion; he is truly remarkable,” said Elliott. “This would not have been possible without the support of my team. I feel honored and grateful.”
Collectively Summit and Blue Collar plant 75 million trees over a 60 day season. This is an average of 1.25 million trees a day. Each of these trees planted one at a time by a Canadian superhuman workforce.
“It is truly amazing what Canadian youth can accomplish, and we are grateful and supportive of the planters in the silviculture industry. They accomplish astonishing feats of human endurance working in some of the toughest conditions, Norm Livingstone, Forestry Superintendent of Tolko Industries, High Level Alberta.
“It is wonderful that these Olympic-like extreme athletes are using their physical and mental strengths to give back by planting trees,” say Tim Tchida, Owner and CEO of Summit Reforestation. “It’s a profound alignment of personal endurance and collective fulfilment, it is an initiation into your own potential”.
“Planting provides tree planters the opportunity to realize what they have inside. To access their will and determination and develop a high-end work ethic. Antoine Moses and Kilty Elliott are extreme examples of this, and they are an inspiration for many planters.” Jeff Lutes, Owner and Operations Manager of Blue Collar Silviculture.
600 million trees are planted in Canada each year by approximately 6500 tree planters and there are opportunities to plant more trees to step up action on climate change. Planting trees is a key strategy for drawing down C02 from dangerous levels and Canadian tree planters are keen and ready to contribute.
The event was sponsored by the Blue Green Planet Project (BGPP), Blue Collar Reforestation, Summit Reforestation.
It’s not how many trees are planted that matters, it’s how many survive, especially seedlings planted on clearcuts which may be eaten by deer or other animals. Do another count in 20 years for meaningful figures. All else is just wishful thinking.