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Through the Tree Branch


The Charlotte Arborists Association is a non-profit dedicated to helping local arborists and tree lovers connect in the pursuit of safe and effective tree care. 100 percent of all proceeds we raise go directly back into the organization. 

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Meet The Team

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Shawn Welch is a North Carolina native. He has been a Certified Arborist since February 2012. He went to CPCC and obtained his Associate in Science, majoring in Horticulture Technology.


After working for large tree care companies in the city, he and his business partner established Southern Rooted Tree Care in 2017, allowing opportunities to travel and train with Arborists all over the world. He also began competing in climbing competitions, excelling quickly. He is the six-time and defending North American Open Masters champion.


In his free time, he enjoys outdoor activities with his wife Rebecca and two dogs Forrest and Jenny. They also look forward to new travel adventures in their renovated school bus!

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Gary Thacker has been serving on the board of the CAA since 2016 and has 23 years of experience in the world of arboriculture. He is an ISA certified arborist, certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist, TRAQ certified, and certified Tree Safety Professional. In 2019, Gary started the tradition of hosting an education day prior to our annual tree climbing competition bringing in world-class speakers to advance the knowledge of anyone willing to invest in themselves.


He moved from New Jersey in 2015 and absolutely loves the Carolina's. Weekends are typically spent with his children exploring all that the area has to offer.


Favorite tree is the Tricolor Beech.

Gary Thacker


Shawn Welch


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Bill Hickman


Andrea Hickman


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Dustin is a certified arborist, certified tree climber, tree risk assessment qualified and has his CTSP. He has been an arborist for 12 years now at Heartwood Tree. He has been involved in the competition circuit for 14 years and has been the southern chapter champion 2 times and best international finish was 34th.


He enjoys spending time with his son on boy scout camping trips and going 4-wheeling in his jeep with his wife.

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Dustin Urbanovsky

Board Member

Juan Lopez

Board Member

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John is a newcomer to the tree industry with a couple years of experience under his belt. Coming from a background of rock climbing with aspirations of becoming a mountain guide he first entered the canopy working with Schneider Tree Care and was immediately entranced by the beauty of tree care.


He is currently on the path to becoming a certified arborist and spreading the good gospel of tree care. When he is not playing with ropes for work he can often be found flailing from ropes on cliff sides.


His favorite tree is the Deodar Cedar.

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Jordan, a Charlotte native, began his career in the tree care industry with Vermeer in 2015.  He earned a B.S. in Geology from UNC Charlotte and has always been fascinated with earth sciences.  Jordan enjoys the fast-paced nature, rapidly developing technologies, and the always colorful personalities of the tree care landscape.

Board Member

John Scarlett

Jordan Parker

Board Member

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Brandon worked as a derrick hand drilling rigs all over Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma until 2012. He then started his career in the tree industry shortly after. Moving to Charlotte in 2017, he immediately became involved with the CAA, and will say the connections from the group set his progression as an arborist on a fruitful path.

His favorite tree is Eastern Red Cedar.

Certified Arborist SO10329A

Board Member

Justin Revland

Brandon Hoggard

Board Member

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Adán Gómez has been a climbing arborist. Since he was a child he's liked climbing palm trees for 7 years in Veracruz Mexico and when he arrived in the USA he became a professional climber. He started his own company in 2010 as Gómez Tree Service Lawn Care Landscaping LLC and learned how to care for trees and how to do pruning, elevation, and trimming.


There are many clients who love him for his good service and care of their trees.

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Nich Maidment, pronounced with a “k” not like a niche, is an owner of an arboricultural company in Asheville NC where he lives with his wife Amy, daughter Ayla, dog Tsuga, and cat Gigi.


Nich graduated from Clemson University with a degree in Horticulture and a minor in Urban Forestry. After working in the industry for about 7 years, he began his business, which is primarily focused on risk mitigation.


In his time away from work, he likes spending time exploring national parks in his family's rv. Camping and fishing and listening to the Grateful Dead are all fine ways for him to spend some quality time with the people he loves.

Board Member

Adán Gómez


Nich Maidment

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I have been in tree care for over 18 years and graduated from Warren Wilson College in 2008 with a B.S. in Biochemistry, focusing on tree biology.  My first climbing competition was the Charlotte comp in 2006, and I've loved the climbing comps ever since.  Climbing comps are a great tool for challenging new climbers to push their boundaries in a safe environment that also prioritizes safe work practices as well as production.

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Adaptable Aerial Solutions LLC

Certified ARborist MA 4880-A, CTSP 2425, EHAP, NCCCO Certified Crane Operator, TCIA Crane Operations Specialist Instructor, Research Climber Center for Conservation Biology and the College of William and Mary, Instructor The Ascension Group Northwest Crane Safety Climber School. Production Climber 25 years.

Captain Norfolk Fire Rescue(ret) 25 years, Nationally Registered EMT-Paramedic (ret) 30 years, Technical rescue Team Supervisor Regional Technical Rescue Team member, Regional Hazmat Team member-(ret) TEMS Regional EMS Instructor of The Year 1997. Fire Academy Instructor, Field Training Officer/Paramedic Field Trainer, CPR ACLS BTLS PALS PEMSTEP EMT-B and Paramedic Instructor-(ret)


Stephen Connally

John Andrew Wagner


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David Stice

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