John Wallace (1899—1986)
Born in Leeds, England, John Wallace emigrated to Campsie, Alta. with his parents in 1907, travelling much of the way by ox team and at first living in a sod cabin. Wallace credited his mother’s love of gardening and his father’s knowledge for his later interest in horticulture.
Wallace soon began collecting native fruit from the wild and corresponding with horticulturists all over North America, seeking information and plants. By 1925 he had established two acres of experimental plots, raising bedding plants and vegetables to support himself and his studies. He later worked at both Morden and Beaverlodge research stations.
By 1948 he had established his own small nursery and mail order business specializing in hardy plants which he successfully ran until the early 1980s when he retired. During this time he continued to work at the North Alberta Research Station in Beaverlodge until 1959.
His selections of saskatoons laid the foundation for Alberta’s saskatoon industry. John Wallace introduced many plants to the prairies including Wapiti juniper, Dunvegan Blue juniper, Two Lakes aster, Snowcap flowering crabapple, Pembina saskatoon, Arctic Dawn flowering crabapple, Smokey saskatoon, Early Yellow tomato and the subarctic tomato series.
He died in 1986 at the age of 95.
Wallace introduced the ‘Arctic Dawn’ Flowering crabapple.
His work with saskatoons was instrumental.