TPAQ Instructors

Denice Britton, RCA #296

California Tree and Landscape Consulting, Inc.

Denice Britton has a bachelor’s degree in plant pathology and a master’s degree in urban forestry from UC Berkeley. She was co-owner of Britton Tree Services from 1984 to 2001, and was the urban forest manager for the City of Chico from 2006 to 2013. She has been a successful consultant for more than 30 years, specializing in tree management programs, appraisal, and risk assessment. Ms. Britton was instrumental in establishing Certification of Arborists in the Western Chapter ISA and was subsequently elected president of the chapter in 1990. She has also been very active in ASCA and in 1998, as ASCA’s President, helped establish the ASCA Academy and in 1998 helped to open membership to any consultant who qualifies. Ms. Britton is vice president of California Tree and Landscape Consulting, Inc., known as CalTLC. She recently joined with ASCA members Gordon Mann and Chad Dykstra to form this new consulting firm serving northern California.


William Fountain, Ph.D., RCA #594

Extension Professor, State Extension Specialist

Dr. Bill Fountain is on the faculty at the University of Kentucky in the Department of Horticulture. He is an instructor for the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Tree Risk Assessment Qualification, is an ISA Board Certified Master Arborist (BCMA KY399B), ASCA Registered Consulting Arborist (RCA #594), and Tree and Plant Appraisal Qualification instructor. Bill is the author of numerous publications relating to arboriculture and landscape management and is a frequent lecturer in Asia. He has served on the ISA Board of Directors and numerous ISA committees. He serves on the Kentucky Arborists’ Association Board of Directors and is KAA representative to CoR.

Brian Gilles, RCA #418

Gilles Consulting

Brian Gilles, RCA #418, earned his B.S. in forestry from the University of Idaho after serving in the Air Force. He began his career working in county and city parks. Brian taught arboriculture for four years at a local community college and has been an independent Consulting Arborist for 20 years. He was an instructor for the original TRACE program and has been a TRAQ instructor since its beginning. He has also served on the board of directors for both the PNW ISA Chapter and ASCA.

Christian Hughes RCA #493

Brookwood Tree Consulting Inc.


As Principal Arborist, Chris brings Brookwood Tree Consulting’s vision to bear and serves as a full time consulting arborist.  His knowledge and experience is recognized as a Certified Arborist through the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and Registered Consulting Arborist through the American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA).  Chris combines a love for trees with almost 20 years experience studying and working with trees in the urban centers of the Southeast and in world renowned gardens across the United States and Europe.

Chris has developed tree management plans for residential homeowners, commercial developers, cities, parks, schools, and hospital and university campuses that actively utilize all concepts of tree appraisal and valuation.  This diverse and unique background has provided the opportunity to engage hands on with tens of thousands of trees.

Robert J. Laverne, Ph.D., RCA #403

Davey Tree

Robert J. (“R.J.”) Laverne, Ph.D., is the manager of education and training for the Davey Tree Expert Company. He helps the employees of Davey Tree obtain the training they need to advance their careers and better assist our clients. He also teaches Urban Forestry at Michigan Technological University. R.J. received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Michigan, a degree in forestry from Michigan Technological University, and a master’s degree in remote sensing from the University of Michigan. He earned his Ph.D. in urban studies and public affairs at Cleveland State University. R.J. is an ISA Board Certified Master Arborist, an ASCA Registered Consulting Arborist, and an instructor for the ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification course and for the ASCA Tree and Plant Appraisal Qualification course. When he’s not working with trees, R.J. is playing in his woodworking shop.

Jeffrey Ling, RCA #337

Arborwise, Limited

Jeffrey Ling is the senior consulting arborist in Indiana and is an ISA Certified Arborist. Jeff co-owns TreeMasters, Inc., a comprehensive arbor-care company, founded in 1990 and focused on plant health care and woody plant pathology, serving hundreds of private clients and over 45 green industry companies. In 1994, Jeff established and is president of ARBORWISE, LTD., a leading Midwest consulting firm that provides arboricultural and urban forestry information and support services. An ASCA member since 1993, Jeff is a Registered Consulting Arborist, past president of the Indiana Arborist Association, and has served on the ASCA Education Committee, as a peer and business mentor, and as an ASCA conference presenter. Appointed in 2016, he is the ASCA representative to the Sustainable Urban Forest Coalition (SUFC). Jeff volunteers as the New Haven, Indiana Tree Commissioner. 

E. Thomas Smiley, Ph.D., RCA #635

Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories

Dr. Tom Smiley is a senior arboricultural researcher at the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories in Charlotte, North Carolina, and an adjunct professor of urban forestry at Clemson University.

Dr. Smiley is active in the arboriculture industry and has co-authored many of ISA’s Best Management Practices. His research has lead to improved methods of increasing sidewalk longevity near trees, protecting trees from lightning damage, improving tree root growth, and reducing tree risk.

Lisa Smith, RCA #464

The Tree Resource

Bio coming soon.

Robert Wells, RCA #593

Morris Arboretum

Mr. Wells has 35 years of experience as the owner of a private tree care firm in Princeton, New Jersey. He graduated from Cook College, Rutgers University with a B.S. in plant sciences, and is a NJ Certified Tree Expert and an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Board Certified Master Arborist. Mr. Wells is also an active member of the Tree Care Industry Association and the American Society of Consulting Arborists. Mr. Wells has served as the chair of the Princeton Township Shade Tree Commission for 15 years.

Donald E. Zimar, RCA #446

Don Zimar has a long and established career as an RCA and Registered Forester in the Washington DC metropolitan and suburban areas since the late nineteen eighties after graduating from S.U.N.Y Syracuse with undergraduate degrees in Forestry and Natural Resources Management.  He also graduated from the S.U.N.Y. Ranger school with an associate degree in Forest Technology. 

He attended ASCA  Academy, served as the ASCA representative to the ANSI A300 committee where he helped develop the first Tree Risk Assessment Standard, and was instrumental in the development of arborist training for the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of ISA.  He has been blessed to be involved with many expert witness assignments and tree preservation consultation on a multitude of historic and high profile properties.  He even served as an expert witness to the FBI. 

He has worked in all phases of arboriculture from climbing and technical removals to successfully transplanting very large trees.  His greatest and most rewarding accomplishments have come as a single father raising his talented equestrian daughter for the last decade.