I have always been a lover of trees. Since I was a child, I spent my time outside in the woods - hunting, fishing, or just hiking around. I still have the Smokey Bear statue my grandmother gave me when I was five! One of my early mentors was Jim Zumbo, the former forester at West Point, and now a famous author and TV host on the Outdoor Channel.
After graduating from Paul Smith's College with a degree in forestry in 1981, I devoted my work to the care of trees and other plants. I've worked in many facets of horticulture, including landscaping, pest control, timber marking, forestry mapping, and lawn care.
About a year ago, I was diagnosed with a medical condition that changed my outlook and my approach to my work. As a result, I decided to focus on trees and shrubs, and develop a holistic approach to plant health that incorporates the entire gamut of tree-care methods.
With more than three decades of experience in the field, I have become well respected as a pre-eminent "tree doctor" in New York State. I have diagnosed and treated trees on estates and properties throughout the Northeast United States, for a wide range of people, businesses and government agencies.
I devote as much time and resources as I can to helping my community. On Arbor Day, for instance, I visit many schools and teach the kids about trees.
For East Coldenham Elementary School (which I and my children attended), which was devastated by a storm in November, 1989, I designed and planted a teardrop-shaped garden to commemorate the nine children who perished when the storm knocked down the cafeteria wall. The garden commemorated the school's 50th birthday, and there is much meaning behind each plant I chose. Some of the teachers who were there in 1989 are still there today; it was very moving at the ribbon cutting to see them enjoy the garden and realize the meaning behind it. I consider that garden one of my career highlights.
I also help the school with planting trees for teachers who are retiring, and visiting the kids to teach them about the value of trees, and how they are just like us: Trees have a vascular system, they breathe, and they can get sick, just like us. I tell the children that I am the only doctor that still makes house calls!
My life's work has always been to help the trees - just like Dr. Seuss's Lorax.