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Published: Tuesday, September 14, 2010, 3:46 p.m.

Jardin Wood, arborist for Evergreen Tree Care

  • Arborist Jardin Wood used to work in the mortgage industry. He says the job he has now "is like rewarding the trees who were so good to me in my ...

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Arborist Jardin Wood used to work in the mortgage industry. He says the job he has now "is like rewarding the trees who were so good to me in my youth."

Q: How did your name direct your career path?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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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