News & Updates
From Uncle John to the Legendary Treeplanter Known as "Stryker"
By Anneke Stryker
This note is to celebrate the incredible number of learnings and adjustments since first coming out to planting last season. From testing just how sore I can make my body to how to shit in the woods to embracing the friendly and open “you do you” attitude in camp.
However, one of the most fascinating aspects of coming out here is learning how much of a legend my Uncle John is. I’m so used to the quirky, quiet and stubborn-but-kind bushman uncle who invites everyone over for homemade pancakes and sausages every few weeks at his Ontario place.
I was super excited when he invited me out treeplanting and that he’d “take me under his wing.” I had no idea how generous a gesture that would actually be for me.
Here everyone knows who he is and looks up to him. Suddenly to everyone in camp I’m “Stryker’s niece.” A planter asked me if I knew my Uncle John’s “kind of a big deal out here?”
He’s so in his element. I’ve never seen him cracking so many jokes, more comfortable than ever. One day, our crew wasn’t planting so well and, as our crew boss, he called a few people out on their trees. At the end of the day as we’re packing up the crew cab, he says, “See, when I’m having a bad day, I just throw a plot on myself. Perfect spacing, oh perfect obstacling, and awesome micrositing!” in typical slow and mock-conceited Uncle John humour he gets his message out.
He knows the names of all the mountains and all the trees, recognizing bird calls and animal droppings. He just belongs here: working hard, taking care of everyone and everything, and always willing to help out where he can.
He’s not the most social uncle in the family, but he’s incredibly moral. Now that I’ve seen him in flying action from under wing, it makes me kinda proud to be the niece of the famous “Stryker”.
Now sorry-not-sorry for making you even more public Uncle John...
Post Script: as of October 30th, 2016 John Stryker has planted 3,44,882 trees with Brinkman since 1981. John Stryker and Ricky Coutts are the only two planters to have planted over 3 million trees with Brinkman.