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Throwback To My First Passion, Arboriculture

Sharing this blog post and talking about this subject probably couldn't come at a better time. It's one of the hottest topics right now and that is the discussion about global warming, our carbon footprint, how we should look after our environment, our interaction with our planet, our natural resources and what steps we need to take in the near future to protect our world as we know it!

Kings Park Botanical Gardens, Perth WA

As soon as I saw this t-shirt (pictured left) I instantly had to get hold of it. Why? Well it might make a little more sense if I take you all the way back to my first career. My first passion and my first line of work was Arboriculture. From 2004 through to 2014 I travelled all around Australia and overseas for many years following my love for working with trees and the environment. I have always worked with living things, first it was trees and plants and now it is humans!

Of course today (2014 to present) I work as a Performance Coach and specialise in Basketball Athlete Development, so when I saw this t-shirt designed by the NBA on the Throwback Store website, I had to get my hands on it straight away. It brings my two careers and passions together perfectly!

The words shared on the back of the t-shirt are "One planet, one shot", "Protect home court", "Plant trees, shoot threes." I couldn't think of anything better that represented and linked my past with my present. For years I propagated and planted thousands and thousands of trees all over the world year after year. I cared for and protected the health and well being of trees in our urban landscapes, their surroundings and the environment at large. In a world and industry where trees where always seen as second class to development, I always fought hard to protect one of our most valuable assets, our trees!

So you may have wondered why the photos were captured at Kings Park Botanical Gardens in Perth, WA? Well, the reason is because it was actually one of my work places for a number of years mid way through my career in Arboriculture. It may also surprise you to know that I was also one of two in-house Arborists at Kings park Botanic Gardens to transplant the 750 year old, 37 tonne Boab Tree 3,200km from Telegraph Creek, Warmun to Perth, in 2008. The tree was a gift from the Gija people in the Kimberley and we were able to save it from being destroyed to make way for a new highway being constructed in it’s original location.

Revisiting the 750 year old Boab tree I helped transplant 14 years ago

My career as an Arborist allowed me to travel all around Australia multiple times, learning, taking workshops, attending conferences, networking and even competing in tree climbing competitions which I was very good at and broke a number of state records and won a number of championships. Eventually the work took me to Asia where I lived and worked in Singapore for four years at the Singapore Botanical Gardens and Gardens By The Bay. Whilst I was based in Singapore I travelled to a number of neighbouring Asian countries with my craft.

I loved my line of work and with a few key friends in the industry, worked day and night to bring about positive change to the industry and the way in which people saw trees, their importance in our urban life and the correct care they require and deserve. I will forever remember my time as an Arborist and my love for trees. We are all interdependent!

Looking over South Perth from Kings Park (Photo: Jack Foley)


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