The Tree Management Program is responsible for monitoring and maintaining more than 200,000 trees along city streets and on city properties, and we plant an average of 800 trees every year. We also provide educational resources for the community.
Trees are pruned to encourage healthy growth and structure and to remove dead or diseased limbs. They are removed when they are determined to be unhealthy or structurally unsound. When trees obstruct the right-of-way during and after storms, our group clears these obstructions and ensures safe passage for vehicles and pedestrians. We also survey, monitor and treat for insects and diseases that may affect street trees. We currently oversee the Tree Canopy Preservation Program, which acquires and preserves tree-canopied land within city limits, including land for the Urban Arboretum Trail.
Laurie Reid, City Arborist
Laurie manages and coordinates programs to effectively manage right-of-way trees, enforces the city's tree ordinance as it relates to right-of-way trees, and conducts outreach and education sessions.
She holds a bachelor of science and master of science in entomology from Clemson University. She is an ISA-Certified Arborist and holds an ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification.
Laurie's career path began as an environmental educator for Cypress Gardens, a park in Berkeley County, SC, and later she became the forest health program manager for the South Carolina Forestry Commission for more than 10 years. She began to work with the City of Charlotte in 2014 where she has held the roles of Urban Forestry Specialist, the Urban Forestry Supervisor, and then the Assistant City Arborist. She became the City Arborist in 2021. Laurie is passionate about environmental education, trees, forest health, and insects and diseases that affect trees.
Vicki Aguilar, Assistant City Arborist
As the Assistant City Arborist, Victoria supports the work of the city arborist staff in maintenance operations and management of the city’s right-of-way trees, supervises the neighborhood tree planting program and coordinates with city arborist staff to implement education and outreach programming.
Victoria has more than 20 years of experience working in the Green Industry. She is a NC licensed landscape contractor, NC certified plant professional and a Tree Risk Assessment Qualified ISA Certified Arborist. She holds a bachelor’s degree in ecology and environmental biology from Appalachian State University and an associate’s degree in horticulture from Haywood Community College.
Victoria is passionate about protecting our natural resources leading to a desire to integrate horticultural experience with conservation practices.
Michael Felts, Senior Municipal Arborist Specialist
Michael has more than 15 years of arboriculture experience. He is a Tree Risk Assessment Qualified (TRAQ) ISA Certified Arborist a who holds a bachelor's degree in exercise science.
As the Senior Municipal Arborist Specialist, Michael supervises four Municipal Arborist Specialists who are responsible for inspecting and right-of-way trees in four specific geographical areas within Charlotte’s city limits. These inspection responsibilities include resident-generated requests for tree trimming or removals, enforcing the tree ordinance where it pertains to right-of-way trees in residential areas, and finding appropriate planting sites for the right-of-way tree planting program. Michael also manages the inspection of trees within uptown. A Charlotte native, Michael has participated in many ISA tree-climbing competitions.
Josh Merwin, Tree Maintenance Supervisor
Josh is a Tree Risk Assessment Qualified ISA Certified Arborist and a certified ISA Tree Worker Climber Specialist. Josh’s team consists of a Municipal Arborist Specialist Work Manager and tree maintenance crews that are responsible for tree inspections, pruning, removal and clearing tree obstructions from the right-of-way during and after storms to ensure safe passage for vehicles and pedestrians. Josh has more than 14 years’ experience working with trees. He brings a calm and even temperament to a job that may be stressful to others. Although an avid and experienced BMX racer, one day while practicing a downhill race he was loudly heckled that he was “Better than yesterday!”
Natasha Warren, Program Coordinator
Natasha provides general and advanced program support related to communication with the public, tree canopy program management, maintenance operations, Charlotte Tree Advisory Commission and interdepartment coordination efforts.
Natasha started her career as City Horticulturist and is a North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association Certified Plant Professional, NC licensed landscape contractor and ISA Certified Arborist. Natasha earned a master of business administration and worked in contracting and economic development. A southern Indiana native, Natasha has a great interest in ornamental plants.