Our Team

Dave at the Washington Monument on the Tour des TreesDave Leonard
ISA Certified Arborist #KY-0147
Board Certified Master Arborist #KY-0147BT
ASCA Registered Consulting Arborist # 346
Certified Tree Risk Assessor 748

As one of the country’s leading authorities in the arboriculture profession, Dave Leonard has been promoting tree health care in Lexington, Kentucky for 39 years. As an active member of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) for 34 years, Dave served on ISA’s Board of Directors for 18 years.  He has also served as both President and Executive Director of ISA’s Kentucky Chapter and has been a member of its Board of Directors for 25 years. Dave was part of the team of 10 of the world’s best arborists that composed the ISA Arborist Certification exam and the Board Certified Master Arborist exam. Dave earned a Forestry degree from the University of Kentucky in 1974. He became a registered member of the American Society of Consulting Arborists in 1993.    Read More…


r_l_belizeRoss Raterman
President and Co-owner
Certified Arborist #KY-0648A
Certified Tree Risk Assessor 1729

Ross was actually barred from planting any more trees at his parents’ house at elementary school age, demonstrating his long-standing fascination with trees. Working landscaping throughout High School and then attending the University of Kentucky to study horticulture, this fascination evolved into education. During his senior year at UK, and after earning a prestigious internship at The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University in Boston, MA, Ross became an ISA Certified Arborist. After living and working in the Chicagoland area for several years after graduation, Ross returned to Lexington to continue his education in arboriculture by working under Dave Leonard. Dave and Ross found that, together, they were better able to serve client needs and became business partners. Outside of his time spent working to achieve the mission of Dave Leonard Tree Specialists, Ross enjoys fishing and snowboarding, as well as spending time with his friends, his wife Lindsay, and his son Grant.


tracieTracie Bauman
Office Manager

Tracie joined the DLTS team in February 2015 as Office Manager. Before joining our team, she managed a local garden center where her love and knowledge for trees and plants intensified. She is definitely a people person and enjoys talking with our customers. When you call the office, there’s a good chance Tracie will be your first point of contact! When she’s not at work she loves cooking, shopping, and spending time with family and friends!



HeatherHeather Wilson
Plant Health Care Specialist
ISA Certified Arborist # KY-0805A
Master of Science Forest Ecology

Heather joined DLTS in November of 2011 as the Plant Health Care Program Manager. Heather grew up in MD, but it was in Kentucky, while spending time in the Red River Gorge, that she discovered her love of trees. She obtained a B.S. in Forestry, a Masters of Science in Forest Ecology from the University of Kentucky, and is published in the Natural Areas Journal (Wilson et al. 2013. Site characteristics as predictors of Lonicera maackii in second growth forests of Central Kentucky, USA. NAJ 33).  Currently a board member of the Lexington Tree Foundation, she is working with concerned citizens to disseminate information on the importance of urban trees. Outside of work Heather enjoys gardening, being in the forest, running, and spending time with her family.


IMG_0235Dustin Reed

Dustin is an excellent tree climber with a passion for high quality tree pruning and precision tree removal.  In fact, if you hire DLTS to perform a difficult tree removal, chances are that you will meet Dustin.  His dedication to safety and customer service is a real asset to the team. Dustin has been doing tree work for 5 years and is currently studying to be an ISA Certified Arborist. He lives in southern Woodford County with his wife and daughter. Outside of work, Dustin enjoys bow hunting for deer, motorsports, and being a father.






joel2Joel Damron
PHC Technician 
ISA Certified Arborist #KY-o8o7A
BS Manufacturing Technology

Joel, a Kentucky native, grew up in Eastern Kentucky, then moved to Central Kentucky in 1980. He is active in the community and his roles include: Volunteer Group Leader with Red River Gorge Trail Crew (USFS), American Homebrewers Association/Beer Judge Certification Program Certified Competition Judge, and an Active Member of the Woodford County CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) & MRC (Medical Reserve Corps) programs. In his spare time Joel is an avid camper, long distance hiker, woodworker, homebrewer, sailboater, hobbyist and tinkerer.




Dave’s shadow and current canine companion, Maggie is usually found under Dave’s desk when he is in the office and scouting for squirrels (and any other undesirables) in the shop yard when he is out. She is an Australian shepherd and was educated at Best Friend’s obedience where she graduated high in her class. She has also done agility training and loves to play on the logs at the Arboretum. She has assisted at many Arbor Day activities as well as Reforest the Bluegrass.