John Wal­lace (1899—1986)

Alberta Gardener Magazine - - News -

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.

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