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Interview with Certified Arborist Abdon Leon of Team Bartlett

Interview with Certified Arborist Abdon Leon of Team Bartlett

Bartlett Arborist Supply:

Abdon, as such a key player of Team Bartlett, to us you need no introduction, but for everyone else, clue them in on who you are! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

 

Abdon:

I appreciate you guys for taking the time to interview me, it is an honor! My name is Abdon Leon I am 28 yrs old and currently living in Shelby Township, MI. I am a Certified Arborist (MI-4385-A) and a CTSP. I love everything about the Tree Industry, trees are my life!! Apart from climbing I enjoy spending time with my family, going on bike rides, and my new recently adopted hobby of bass fishing! 

 

Bartlett:

How did you get started climbing trees? How long have you been in the industry?

 

Abdon:

Honestly, I didn't even plan on being an Arborist. My dad would bring me into his work during the summer to earn some cash and about a year after I got out of school I got a job working at the same company he does. At first it was just about getting some cash, but one day my dad approached me and said, "Hey you want to go up and blow out that spruce top?". I didn't even think twice about saying yes! I didn't own any gear at that time so I grabbed some of his equipment, went up, blew the top out and once the tree stopped swaying I looked around and was completely blown away by how beautiful the view was, not to mention the adrenaline rush that was surging through my body! After that I was hooked and I knew this is what I wanted to do! I've been in the Tree Care Industry for 9 years now!

 Abdon Leon in a tree

Bartlett:

I'm sure a lot of people reading this are used to seeing your face at our booth and on our YouTube Channel, sharing tips and talking about gear. What keeps you inspired to keep learning and trying new things?

 

Abdon:

I enjoy learning from everybody and who doesn't like shiny new gear!?! Everyone has something new that they bring to the table, even if it's just one simple little trick and actually those are the ones that completely blow my mind! It could vary from something as simple as tying a clove hitch a new way or using a thimble to better position on a spar, which has come in handy quite a few times since I learned that one! The Tree Care Industry is a constant learning process, everyday there is something new to learn and the more I learn the better I can help spread the knowledge throughout the tree community. Spreading the knowledge is what keeps me pursuing new things, I always like to say KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!

 

Bartlett:

Thanks to you Team Bartlett has been able to connect with new friends in the Spanish speaking community, which is so cool! And thanks to the internet we all can connect with people all over the world too! Mind blown! What's it like for you connecting with people from all over the world and in different cultures through tree climbing!?

 

Abdon:

It's absolutely incredible!!! Getting to speak to all of these amazing people, whether it's via phone or internet, and getting to connect with them is on another level. That right there is rewarding and makes my job super enjoyable! Everyone I have spoken to or encountered have been so down to earth and willing to share!

 Abdon Leon standing on a tree limb

Bartlett:

Some people only climb for money. It's just their job. But we've noticed you enjoy rec climbing in your spare time as well. What is it about trees or climbing that makes you want to do it even off the clock?

 

Abdon:

It's my addiction, my passion, it's what I LOVE to do!! Tinkering with new techniques, trying to snap some killer pics as well, and hanging out with fellow climbers makes it all worthwhile. Not to mention that it feels so serene and tranquil to me when I spend time in the canopy.....I am at complete peace up there!

 

Bartlett:

You also climb competitively and snagged 3rd place in 2020 at the Michigan Tree Climbing Championships! When you first started climbing did you ever see yourself at that level? And how does it feel now?

 

Abdon:

I never even knew there was such a thing as competitive tree climbing until I was four years into the business! I stumbled onto tree climbing competition videos on YouTube and I was completely blown away! I was watching these amazing athletes move around and the way they moved was absolutely graceful! After watching those videos I began to really invest into my climbing gear and planned to compete soon after. I didn't expect to get into the Master's challenge. I was simply going to learn and have a good time, but when my name was announced to advance up I was in complete shock!! I have a few goals, two of them were to make it into the Master's challenge and getting to represent Michigan at the International Tree Climbing competition. It feels good that I got to accomplish one of those but I would still love to make it to the International level!

 

Bartlett:

As we wrap this up what's one thing you want to be sure to leave our readers with today? What do you think is important for them to hear?

 

Abdon:

Keep an open mind, learn from everyone you encounter. You may not end up using what you learned or saw immediately on the next job but it might come in handy down the road on another job. That way you have all sorts of techniques in your bag of tricks! Work as a team, something that I always found to be true because teamwork does make the dream work. Most importantly, stay humble and don't forget to enjoy yourself when you're out on the job! KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.

 

Thank you so much to Abdon for taking the time out to chat with us! We always look forward to seeing what you'll be up to next!

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