Originally published in 1902, John Davey’s classic work helped to establish the scientific basis for the modern profession of ‘arborist’ or ‘tree surgeon’. John Davey believed that people’s neglect for trees was simply the result of a lack of understanding of their functioning, and that educating the public on proper tree care could benefit the entire country. This book laid down a foundation for tree care standards that would be adopted by his company, including proper finishing cuts, planting, timing, pests and diseases, and urban cultivation. John Davey’s study of tree stress, wounds, rot and decay was ahead of his time. Although many of his theories were later shown to be off-track, his contributions to the trade at the time were immense – he helped to pioneer an industry.
John Davey (June 6, 1846 – November 8, 1923), considered the father of the science of tree surgery, was born in Stawley, Somerset, England. Although he did not learn the alphabet until his early 20s, his sharp intellect and analytical skills allowed him to become a skilled orator, author, publisher and inventor.
John Davey mastered agriculture under the tutelage of his father, the superintendent of a large farm. He developed a strong work ethic and passion for arboriculture. Davey believed that great lengths should be taken to preserve natural resources, especially those that take more than a lifetime to replace.
He took his convictions to America in hopes of preserving ailing trees and providing quality horticultural services. He subsequently launched a landscape and greenhouse business in Warren, Ohio, and then, in 1880, founded The Davey Tree Expert Company in nearby Kent.
From the Introduction:
“The author of The Tree Doctor has had the care of trees and plants for more than thirty-five years and is an ardent lover of nature. The ghastly wounds of his friends, the trees, and their various suffering (if you will allow the expression) cry aloud and pierce his inmost soul and bid him arise and plead their cause. The author is not so conceited to suppose he “knows it all.” Whatever knowledge he possesses he has learned from others, or gained it from observation. If nature has endowed him with the faculty of observing and the ability to trace effects back to their causes, and thus enable him to find the two real causes of the present sickness and premature death of trees, then, as a member of society, he owes that knowledge to the world at large, and particularly to the United States of America, his adopted and beloved “home” to which, with pleasure, he reverently dedicates this work.”
The Tree Doctor is available in paperback from Amazon.com here.
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