About Me

Ye olde tree and me historee

Hi, I'm Coopdawg Cooper.  Also known as Treedawg when I work with trees.

So, here's my story.

I became very interested with plants and trees while I was a wee lad.  I used to have my mom take me to the plant nursery and look at all the immense variety.  Sometimes we would buy a plant I found interesting to put in the front yard.  I knew nothing about the plants except what I thought looked neat.  If the sign mentioned that a tree grew to be 100 feet tall, this was incredible to me since I was only about 4 feet tall, and since we never went to the forest, there were no trees that size around me in the suburbs and it was a rather alien concept.  We didn't have the internet, so looking this stuff up was only possible through outdated like rare books.

I used to make rock gardens and terrariums, but like any kid that age, interest would wane after a short time.  True tree love would have to wait.  House plants were still pretty uncommon, mostly reserved for hippies and girls that wore ponchos and burned incense.

My goal as a career had always been as a craftsman in the architectural world, and my hobbies mostly revolved around art, architecture, carpentry, crafts, gardening, and pounding on things with hammers.

When I started driving, the first job I took on was pruning.  Not excellent pruning, but pretty darn good, and I was an ace at trimming hedges to razor precision.  I started learning about REAL, proper perfectionistic pruning over the years.

Jump ahead a number of years.  I think I was in a restaurant that had some potted Japanese Maples, and it fulfilled my design and nature sensibilities simultaneously.  I just had to go out and buy one right away.  Well, within just a few days of that revelation, I happened upon a bonsai show.  Before that, I'd seen bonsai and was fascinated, but had no real way to become more educated or involved since I thought only the Japanese would or could do it.  So that was the biggie.  At that point my interest really took off, and I absorbed everything I could about trees in a very short time.  I learned to prune the right way and could identify most trees along with their botanical names.  I collected a bunch.  That collection continues to grow monthly.

I remained a cabinetmaker and remodeling contractor during this time.  But as years went by, I had the urge to make pruning part of my business.  I would prune trees for friends and clients, but never actively sought work doing pruning.  Remaining a hobby wasn't enough.

Over the past few years, I've studied trees and pruning more extensively, and fine-tuned the craft.  The thing I realize the most is how badly managed almost all trees are, including by so-called experts.  I have an obsession now with making trees absolutely as good as they can be.

Finally, in the last couple years, I decided to make a go of it, and tree management is now a fair chunk of the work I do.  It's the most fun I have at work, and I'm every bit as good at it as any of the trades I practiced for many years.  Being a perfectionist leads one to strive to be great at multiple things.  If I don't get really good at something, I tend  to move on unless it's mandatory or lots of fun.  I suppose as I get older that I won't be able to do hard remodeling labor, but can prune trees well into my 80's or 90's, though I probably won't be climbing tall trees at that point.

In addition, I'm an avid collector of all sorts of trees.  I keep every one of them in a pot, mostly miniaturized to one degree or another, all waiting for a future home in the Cooperetum, or maybe in your yard if we get to that kind of business.  When I collect a tree, I get pretty attached to it with all the special treatment I give it, so letting go would be a bit difficult.

I hope to share my knowledge and yours, learn more about trees from around the world, and maybe work with you.

The end.

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