After arriving in Vancouver, John Davidson advertised his services as a professional botanist for hire. The local botanical community both resented and celebrated his presence. Despite some negativity, Davidson became an energizing force among Vancouver’s natural historians. Before his arrival, many collectors visited the area but took their specimens away with them when they left. Davidson and his research contributions remained in the province.
Some people resented John Davidson because he did not cooperate with the botanists who were already in British Columbia. He continually made it seem like he was the first and only person to study plants in the province. His attitude was partly due to his negative experiences with Professor Trail back in Aberdeen.