A: Honestly, I was just born into loving trees and loving nature. I was absolutely one of those old-school tree huggers. I grew up in Big Sur, Calif., and I taught my children how to hug a redwood and that's just been me, always.
The last two years I've gravitated from a job standpoint. Previously, I had done mortgages for 15 or 20 years. And a buddy of mine at church said I should do something with this tree company. And he got me in front of the right people.
The mortgages was really a J-O-B, but it wasn't a love. My job now is like rewarding the trees who were so good to me in my youth. As a child I'd climb trees and spend many hours, alone, up in them ... daydreaming.
Q: Would you change your name if you could, and why or why not?
A: My first name means garden in French. As a kid, I didn't really like my name. I really realized I had a different name when I wanted to get a little personalized license plate for my bike, and there was not even one name close to Jardin.
That being said, I have a unique name that everybody remembers; it's still so much a part of who I am.
So my first name has the flair and my last name is my roots. I've always loved the touch and feel and smell of wood. I have hardwood floors throughout my house, and literally the touch and feel is very important to me. Wood is really truly who I am.
Q: If you could choose another career, what would it be?
A: One of my absolute loves is photography, so nature photographer is way up there.
I've also always had a deep desire to be an actor. The performance aspect of it appeals to the arts part of me.
Q: How do you know when someone has picked up on the fact that your name is an aptonym?
A: I have a partner and his job is the order generator who knocks on people's doors to ask if they want a free analysis from an arborist, and then he really plays up the fact that my name is Jardin Wood. So when I meet these clients, half to two-thirds of them say, "Yeah, you are the Wood guy."
Q: How do people react to the combination of your name and job? Do they get it? Any funny stories as a result?
A: How I got my name Jardin. The fact is I was raised with hippie parents, I was born in 1964 in Big Sur, where, especially in the '60s, you were either a bohemian or a movie star.
My mom, who took French throughout high school and in college, said she knew her first kid if it was a boy would be Jardin and if it was a girl would be Jardine with an "e" on the end.
If she had married some uptight city guy that might not have happened, but my dad was totally a granola eater.
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