Our Team

Phil Graf

Owner, Company Founder, Urban Forester


Years with Graf Tree Care: 19
Years in the tree care industry: 25
Education: College of St. Francis (1995) Mathematics

Certifications:
ISA Certified Arborist (1999). Lic #IL 1553-AM
ISA Certified Municipal Specialist (2013)

Qualifications and Recognition:
ISA TRAQ Qualified (2015)
Midwest Institute of Park Executives
Associate Member of the Year (2012)

Chris Scott

Tree Crew Division Manager


Years with Graf Tree Care: 11
Years in the tree care industry: 28

Certifications:
ISA Certified Arborist (1999). Lic #IL 1321-A

Zac King

Plant Health Care Division Manger


Years with Graf Tree Care: 5
Years in the tree care industry: 13
Education: Northern Illinois University (2003) Biology

Certifications:
ISA Certified Arborist (2005). Lic #IL 4615-BCMA
ISA Board Certified Master Arborist (2016)

Qualifications and Recognition:
ISA TRAQ Qualified (2017)

Steve Lane

Natural Resource Management & GIS Division Manager


Years with Graf Tree Care: 8
Years in the tree care industry: 13
Education: University of Oregon (2004), Environmental Science, Geography
Elmhurst College (2012) GIS Certificate

Certifications:
ISA Certified Arborist (2006). Lic #IL 4565 - A

Qualifications and Recognition:
ISA TRAQ Qualified (2015)
Illinois Arborist Association (IAA) Commercial Chair, President Elect

Leslie Delles

Forestry Survey Technician


Years with Graf Tree Care: 5
Years in the tree care industry: 18
Education: Northeastern Illinois University (1996) Earth Science

Certifications:
ISA Certified Arborist (2015) Lic #IL 9199- A

Qualifications: ISA TRAQ Qualified (2017)

Leslie is a very experienced tree data collector having worked with the United States Department of Agriculture prior to Graf Tree Care. Leslie has collected data on hundreds of thousands of trees in Illinois.

Greg Ratfield

Plant Health Care Technician


Years with Graf Tree Care: 4
Years in the tree care industry: 4

Certifications:
ISA Certified Arborist (2017) Lic #IL 9956-A

Greg is another well-rounded arborist. He runs a spray rig throughout the spring and summer months, and is also a huge asset on our tree pruning crew in the winter.

Ian Wolf

Tree Crew Leader


Years with Graf Tree Care: 1
Years in the tree care industry: 5
Education: College of St. Thomas (2012) Spanish, Sociology

Certifications:
ISA Certified Arborist (2016) Lic# IL 9456-A

Ian has worked for both Forest Preserves and Park Districts in Illinois, and with the Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa. He is proficient in tree climbing and aerial lift operation.

Nate Stelter

Forestry Survey Technician


Years with Graf Tree Care: 1
Years in the tree care industry: 1
Education: University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point (2016) Hydrology

Certifications:
Certified Wetland Scientist (2017) - IWEER

While collecting data for large tree inventory projects, Nate helps write recommendations for our clients regarding using trees for storm water management.

Alex Turney

Arborist Apprentice


Years with Graf Tree Care: 1
Years in the tree care industry: 1
Alex is learning about trees every day on the job, and is working on his climbing and pruning skills. He was an outstanding 3 sport athlete at West Chicago High School, and was the varsity quarterback 2014-2016.

Sam Hostert

Plant Health Care Technician/Climbing Arborist


Years with Graf Tree Care: 1
Years in the tree care industry: 5

Education: Bachelors of Science in Agriculture, Western Illinois University 2012
Sam is a well rounded arborist who can run a plant health care truck or operate as a skilled tree climber. He will be competing in the Illinois Arborist Association Tree Climbing Competition later this year.

Scott Turney

Fleet and Facility Manger


Years with Graf Tree Care: 2
Years in the tree care industry: 2
Years in active military service: 10

Scott spent ten years in the U.S. Navy followed by 20 years at Comcast as a Network Operations Technician. In the Navy, hewas awarded 6 letters of Commendation and numerous metals for conflicts at sea.

Jon Carlson

Tree Risk Management Consultant


Years with Graf Tree Care: 1
Years in the tree care industry: 1
40

Education: Biological Aspects of Conservation, University of Wisconsin Madison
1979 Certifications: ISA Certified Arborist (1992). Lic #IL 1135A Qualifications and Recognition: ISA TRAQ Qualified (2016) Midwest Institute of Park Executives Park Professional of the Year (2008) Illinois Park and Recreation Association Natural Resource Section Education Chair (2008-2011) Jon began his career as a Dutch Elm Disease Technician for the City of Monona, Wisconsin and then worked for sixteen years at the Fox Valley Park District in Aurora, IL as Supervisor of Horticulture and Arboriculture and serving as Safety Coordinator. He then became the Superintendent of Parks and Planning for the Bartlett Park District for fourteen years and following that, worked six years for the City of Colorado Springs as the City’s Special District Administrator. As a Tree Risk Assessment Qualified Arborist, Jon has joined Graf Tree Care to provide tree risk management consultation to municipalities, park and school districts and private property owners. Having worked his entire career in small, medium and large local governments, Jon has a depth of understanding of the needs of agencies that are responsible for the trees in their care.

Jim Semelka

Consulting Municipal Forester


Years with Graf Tree Care: 2
Years in the tree care industry: 42
Education: Southern Illinois University (1976) Forest Resource Management

Certifications:
ISA Certified Arborist (1983). Lic #IL 0745-AM
ISA Certified Municipal Specialist (2012)

Qualifications and Recognition:
ISA TRAQ Qualified (2017)
Illinois Arborist Association Past President, and Past Municipal Chair
Illinois Arborist Association Special Recognition Award (2013)
Suburban Tree Consortium Past President

Jim spent nearly 40 years in Municipal Forestry, as the Village Forester of Oak Park, and La Grange, IL. He is our most seasoned veteran of the tree care industry and has so many other special recognition that we couldn’t possibly list them all here.

Jesse Felix

Natural Areas Consultant


Years with Graf Tree Care: 1
Years in the tree care industry: 45

Education: Associates Degree in Horticulture, College of DuPage
Jesse brings a tremendous amount of experience to our Company, as he has worked in all areas of the industry, Horticulture, Arboriculture, and Urban Forestry. He began his career on the Grounds of Cantigny, then worked as Superintendent of Parks in West Chicago for 28 years prior to joining our team. Jesse consults our clients that maintain prairies, ponds, and other Natural areas. He also serves as a mentor to our younger staff.

Diana Jeffery

Office Manger


Years with Graf Tree Care: 9
Years in the tree care industry: 0
Education: College of DuPage (2002) Horticulture

Diana has many responsibilities including managing communications with our clients, human relations, marketing, and generally keeping things running smoothly from behind the scenes.

Mark Graf

Chief Financial Officer


Years with Graf Tree Care: 10
Years in the tree care industry: 10
Education: University of Wisconsin- Whitewater (2004), Business Finance
Roosevelt University (2010) Masters Degree in Accounting

Mark takes care of financial matters such as payroll, accounts payable accounts receivable, and tax compliance