I want to share, help if I can, and spread the tricks I’ve learned. With a little insight and hard work, most suburban properties can be a green, cool, pleasant, and peaceful place that can bring you a powerful connection with nature that improves all our lives. The plants you love and nurture become people in your family.
This is a very ecologically complex environment here against the Canadian Rockies, full of challenges and rewards. Whether you are a master gardener or someone with one tomato in a pot, no one knows it all and we can all learn from each other’s experience.
The vast majority of my life’s work has been and continues to be pruning. Pruning everything in sight from large poplars in decades past to the tiny Daphne. My favourite work is with apple trees, everything about apple trees: pests, diseases, and their amazing, beautiful forms.
Through the years, I have come to know the majority of Calgary's woody plants, how they grow, and what their troubles are. It turns out that most of those troubles have a very simple solution: WATER. Any tree in Calgary that gets the water it wants will be happy, healthy, and relatively pest- and disease-free. Of course, there are exceptions, and we should never turn our back on fireblight, Pseudomonas, sawflies, black knot and a few others.
The person that most of this blog is aimed at is a homeowner, someone with trees and shrubs. The wider focus of gardening, veggies, annuals, and perennials is outside of my main focus, which is, specifically, growing trees and shrubs in Calgary.
Some of these blog entries go into quite a bit of detail with regard to tree physiology, such as An arborist thinks on compartmentalization. Others are a welcoming hand to youth, in the hope that some of their modern energy will infuse the tree service industry. That said, most of the posts will be aimed at people who own trees and shrubs, who want practical solutions to their problems—a hands-on manual for those who want common-sense information.
Every thing I write about I have seen and lived and worked with. This writing is the fruit, finally, of a long-growing, stubborn old tree that still has some sap. My hope is that it is useful and helpful.