It's not the first book ever written about treeplanting and silviculture in B.C., but Greg Nolan's Highballer: True Tales from a Treeplanting Life (Harbour $26.95) is likely the most far-reaching. After his twenty-seven years as a top-ranked treeplanter ? hitting the thousand-trees-a-day mark as a rookie in his first week?and as a foreman, project manager and finally as a contractor and co-owner of Rainforest Silviculture Services Ltd., Nolan recalls being nearly mauled by grizzlies in Bute Inlet and surviving hurricanes, landslides, hostile loggers and whirlwind romances. His mom drove him 750 kilometres to his first job in northern B.C. when he was nineteen, in 1983; the industry has changed a lot since. For years Nolan, who now lives in Victoria, would be haunted by his indirect role in a multiple-fatality vehicle accident, throwing him into a deep depression. It wasn't all gruelling isolation and danger in a largely unregulated industry; there were also lots of hijinks in those secluded campsites. Nolan spills the beans. Highballer looks at the practices and people of the vital treeplanting industry through the eyes of a man who has planted 2.5 million trees. Eat your heart out, Johnny Appleseed.


Highballer: True Tales from a Treeplanting Life (Harbour 2019) $26.95 978-1-55017-868-5

[BCBW 2019]