Dr. Alex Shigo
Tribute to Dr. Alex Shigo (1930 ~ 2006)
Dr. Alex Shigo became involved with the New Hampshire Arborists Association in 1977. His primary mission was to, as he put it “connect with the tree people in the field” as he knew they had a great deal of information to give to him and he had a great deal of information to give us. So, for the last 30 years, Dr. Shigo has persisted in challenging us on understanding trees and their associates.
Below are comments made by individuals that have been touched by Dr. Shigo. Please Click Here to view other comments from colleagues, friends and family worldwide.
Remembering Dr. Shigo:
I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Alex Shigo for 10 years conducting a series of seminars and workshops in Portsmouth, NH. Our favorite workshop was the “Tree Autopsy and Dissection Lab” in which we would spend two days looking at all parts of the tree and its associates under dissection microscopes. Many workshop attendees and other arborists have asked me if we are planning any activities to memorialize Dr. Shigo’s life and work. There is a possibility that we would hold a workshop and get- together as a fundraiser for continued tree research. That event would be in the future and is not yet planned.
My immediate message to those wishing to honor Dr. Shigo’s memory is to do everyday what he spent his career asking us to do:
Touch Trees. Think about trees and how they live and function. Connect with Nature and learn about tree systems. Communicate with others about the importance of connecting with Nature and the need to know tree systems, their parts and relationships intimately before we set out to care for these amazing organisms. And don’t forget to use proper and precise language when communicating with others.
If you have ever worked with Dr. Shigo or attended one of his workshops, you know that he was always looking over your shoulder to make sure you understood this relationship or could accurately define a mychorrhiza. Whatever your spiritual belief system may be, if Dr. Shigo got through to you, then you probably feel the same way that I do: He still is looking over my shoulder and I’m still trying to get it right. Thank you, Alex.
So if you would like to honor Dr. Shigo’s memory, do what he asked us to do: TOUCH TREES and think before you act.
Jeff W. Ott
A Toast to Dr. Shigo:
I can remember when I first met Dr. Shigo. It was in 1976-1977 and I was invited to his lab at the Forest Service in Durham NH. What became immediately obvious was this guy was not an ordinary PhD! He immediately started talking about trees, defense systems, compartmentalization, etc, etc.
He flew around the room like a hummingbird goes to nectar frantically bringing out wood samples to show us what he was talking about. His enthusiasm was completely infectious! From that point on I knew that this man as a very special person with talents not many people possess.
So for the last 30 years, I have had the great privilege of being a student and a friend of Dr. Shigo. His lectures were always enlightening and the dissection workshops demanding and rewarding. He always would challenge you to ask more questions. And above all, his passion and love for trees, nature, people and all associates was a trait one could only hope they might possess. Thanks, Dr. Shigo, for showing me how to touch trees and pass it on to the next generation. ‘Till we meet again.