ATP is the culmination of the Picker family’s long-running love affair with trees. Both sides of the Picker family have long been involved in different aspects of the tree business. The family of Lynne Picker, wife of ATP-cofounder Don Picker and mother of ATP co-founder Jon Picker, established Swedberg Nursery in Battle Lake, Minnesota, USA in 1915 and has been running it ever since. ATP’s Don Picker is pictured on the right with nursery owner Tim Swedberg.
Don Picker has been climbing trees professionally since 1981, when he was an employee at Wright Tree Service in Rockford, Illinois, USA, where he was a utility line clearance crew leader in his mid-20s.
In 1983 Don succumbed to the entrepreneurial itch and founded Picker Tree Experts in Rockford, Illinois. The company served the greater Chicago metro area through 1989.
NGO work brought the Picker family to southern China in 1990, stoking a love of Asia and China that has kept most of the family in the area up until today. In the above photo from 1990, a newly arrived Don is engaged in tree work on Kent Road in Hong Kong’s Kowloon Tong.
Don’s son Jon began working with the family business in 2000. Seven years later in 2007, Don and Jon co-founded ATP. Today Jon is a certified arborist and certified tree worker and chapter representative of the Hong Kong chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). In the above photo from 2000, Jon (left), Don and Andrew Swedberg of Swedberg Nursery take a break from a job in Battle Lake.
Since relocating to Asia, Don has worked tirelessly to bring international arboriculture training and best practices to the region. The above photo is from Hong Kong’s first ISA-accredited certified tree worker exam, which Don proctored in 2006.
Don’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. In 2012 the ISA awarded Don with their highest honor, naming him a recipient of the True Professional of Arboriculture award. The above video, produced by the ISA, highlights the reasons for awarding Don this prestigious honor.
As a result of ISA’s expansion into Asia, the region has experienced a boom in qualified local staff, some of whom are members of the ATP family. ATP looks forward to continuing its commitment to excellence in Hong Kong, China and Southeast Asia in the years to come.