Serving North East Ohio & Eastern Cleveland Area

Call us at 440-564-1374

Our Team

Alan Krause, Owner, Independent Tree in Ohio

Alan Kraus

ISA Certified Arborist OH-5219A
ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified

TCIA Certified Tree Care Safety Professional

Alan Kraus was first introduced to tree work in high school while landscaping and was quickly hooked. In 1995, he began to focus his abilities in arboriculture and has been working with trees and shrubs ever since. Alan founded Independent Tree with the goal of providing quality tree work and education in a field that he loves. Alan is an ISA certified arborist. Alan works hard keeping up to date on arboriculture education, so that we can bring our clients the best the industry has to offer. He also conducts educational seminars for various organizations. Alan helped form the Ohio Independent Arborist Association, OIAA out of a need for more local industry education & training. He currently serves as president on the OIAA board.  Outside of Independent Tree, Alan is passionate about history; he loves traveling, reading, music, skateboarding and spends most of his time outdoors.

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Lisa Carrielli-Kraus

Office Manager/Marketing Manager

Lisa is the Office Manager here at Independent Tree, handling all the ins and outs behind the scenes. Lisa received her BFA in art from Kent and is responsible for most of Independent Tree’s design work and marketing. Outside of the office, Lisa is a textile artist and designer and works a small hobby farm & csa, she practices yoga, loves to travel, backpack, trail run and spend time with her husband, Alan, and their dogs.

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Michael Breth

Plant Health Care Manager
ISA Certified Arborist OH-6388A
Certified Pesticide Applicator
National Association of Landscape Professionals, Certified Horticulturist
ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified

Mike has always been into science & nature, and he received his B.S in chemistry in 2006. It wasn't until after college, during a 3 month backpacking trip through Australia & New Zealand, that he truly cultivated his interest for ecology & trees. Following this trip, Mike sought out a job in arboriculture, where he started his career as a climber. In 2010 Mike went back to school and received a B.S. in Environmental Science & Ecology, he also worked supervising habitat restoration with the parks service, and during this time, he became closely involved in the relationships between trees and people, and grew more in tune to his larger role in the environment. In 2011, Mike made the transition into Plant Health Care gearing his approach to more responsible and sustainable solutions; which happened to be exactly the fit Independent Tree was looking for. When not working for the betterment of trees and the environment, Mike enjoys reading, cooking and traveling and he continues to invest back into the local parks.

Nik Rataiczak, Independent Tree in Ohio

Nic Rataiczak

Crew Leader/Climber
ISA Certified Arborist OH-6542A

Nic joined Independent Tree in the spring of 2007 on the grounds crew. Taking quickly to climbing, he worked himself up to be one of our main climbers, as well as a crew leader. Nic competed in the Ohio Climbing Championship for the first time in 2010 placing 8th in the state and has competed and placed every year since. In 2013 Nic also won the work climb at the OTCC. Nic is a certified arborist & is also working on his tree climber’s specialist certification. Nic is also our in the field marketing man; if you follow us on social media then you have already enjoyed many of Nics photographs and videos. Outside of work, you are likely to still find Nic up in a tree; his other interests include skateboarding, traveling, being outdoors & spending time with his family & soon to be wife.


Clay Long

ISA Certified Arborist OH-6394A
ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified

Clay’s love of nature & trees was sparked by his mother who was teaching classes at The Natural History Museum & often included him in field trips. As an adult, Clay started his career in the green industry as a landscaper for 3 ½ years & in 2010 got his start in arboriculture here at Independent Tree. Over the years, Clay worked in both residential & commercial tree care before returning to Independent Tree in the spring of 2018 as a sales arborist. Clay is an ISA certified arborist & ISA Tree Risk Assessment Certified and has a BSA in Anthropology from Kent State. Outside of arboriculture, Clay enjoys hiking with his family, working on his new home in Kent & he is a bird enthusiast.


Brad Nagle

Crew Leader/Safety/Training Coordinator
ISA Certified Arborist OH-6598A
TCIA Certified Tree Care Safety Professional

Brad studied Natural Interpretation at Hocking College, where he took his first forestry classes. He worked as a naturalist for almost 10 years and while doing environmental education at an arboretum, he realized that he wanted to use his skills as an arborist.  In February 2014 Brad made the switch, from naturalist to full time arborist. He joined the Independent Tree team in the summer of 2015 and is a Certified Arborist, as well as a Certified Tree Care Safety Professional. Brad is our safety supervisor here at Independent Tree. Outside of tree work, Brad is an accomplished kayaker, he also enjoys spending time with his family and dogs.


Jeff Burkley

Crew Leader/Shop Manager

Jeff joined Independent Tree in late summer 2016. Prior to joining our team, Jeff had 4 years’ experience in the utility end of tree work, but wanted to change his focus to residential tree care & get more climbing experience. He has definitely gotten that experience here with us and quickly moved up to being a crew leader & our shop manager, and he is currently studying for his arborist certification. Jeff is one of the nicest guys you will meet & like many of us here, Jeff’s interest in trees extends outside of work; he also enjoys spending time with his growing family, fishing, riding ATV’s & dirt bikes.

Bob Cooley photo - Operations Manager at Independent Tree

Bob Cooley

Crew Leader/Climber
ISA Certified Arborist OH-0829A

Bob got his early start in tree work in 1987 doing line clearance work. He transitioned into residential tree work in 1993 and has been there since, mostly working in NE Ohio with a couple years in California. Bob received his ISA Arborist Certification in the early 90's making him the 829th person to get his certification in the state of Ohio. Outside of work, Bob enjoys spending with his family and sharing his love of trees with others


Charles Dupuis

Main Equipment Operator/Fleet Manager
ISA Certified Arborist OH-6796A

Charles has been in the residential tree care industry since 2013. He came to Independent Tree in the fall of 2016 as a climber & equipment operator. Charles, a certified arborist, is a hard worker & quick learner and he is now our main equipment operator & fleet manager. Outside of doing tree work, Charlie is a music lover and has a degree from the Los Angeles Music Academy. He plays the bass & has a recording studio, Charles also enjoys long boarding & auto cross racing.

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Linus Glady

Climber/Plant Health Care Foreman
Certified Pesticide Applicator

Linus came on as an intern from the Tri-C Plant Science & Landscape Technology program in the early spring of 2015. Linus became interested in arboriculture after taking a horticulture botany class to fill a science requirement. This immediately sparked his interest & he pursued more arboriculture classes. Linus has competed regionally the past few years in wood id, arboriculture & landscape installation with Tri-C, placing admirably in all. Linus had previously been working in the city parks department where he got some on the job experience before joining Independent Tree. Linus is a certified pesticide applicator & has completed his application to become a certified arborist. Linus is a very bright young man & his plant ID is top notch. Aside from being an arborist, Linus enjoys canoeing & fishing and he coaches High School hockey.


John MacKay

Plant Health Care Foreman
Certified Pesticide Applicator 

John came on as an intern from TRI-C’s Plant Science & Landscape Technology program. After finishing his internship, he chose to stay on full time. In addition to his Associates degree from Tri-C, John has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in biology from The University of Akron. John has a strong propensity for learning, like a human sponge who wants to learn everything he can, and likewise is eager to share his knowledge with clients & his co-workers. John is a licensed pesticide applicator & one of our Plant Health Care Technicians. In his free time, John does a lot of propagation; whether it’s starting plants from seeds or cuttings, he loves “geeking” out on plants.

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Nick Mrosko

Climber Trainee

Nick joined our crew in the spring of 2017. Nick had known some other people who worked at Independent Tree, and through following us on social media, grew enamored with the industry. Although he came to us completely green, within 6 months, his natural athleticism quickly moved him up to a climber trainee. Nick enjoys the physical & mental challenge of tree work, especially the creative aspect of tree pruning. Nick’s enthusiasm in his work is pleasantly infectious. Aside from being a budding arborist, Nick is a singer/songwriter in a band & skateboarder.

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Nick Koeth

Ground Crew

Nick got his start in the green industry in 2011 working in the nursery & landscape field. He came to Independent Tree in the fall of 2017 & currently works on our ground crew taking in everything he can. Nick is always eager to lend a helping hand & you will be hard pressed to find him standing idle; he enjoys hard work & being outside. In his free time Nick is a musician/singer/songwriter, playing guitar in a couple of bands; he also enjoys skate boarding.


Meg Fazio

Ground Operations/Climber Trainee

Meg was working in agriculture when she saw a special about women in arboriculture that sparked her interest. She started to thoroughly research the industry, where she found Independent Tree. She saw an Instagram post of views from treetops captioned, "Do you want a job with a view?" Meg enthusiastically answered, "I do!" and we are glad she did.

Meg has a degree in Conflict Management and two Masters degrees in Early Childhood Education and Library Science. With her love of the outdoors, she realized that indoor jobs just weren't for her. "I grew up climbing trees and I just really like nature and dirt and challenging my physical limits." Meg's intellect and ability to challenge herself has made her a quick study, and we look forward to watching her budding career in arboriculture grow.

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Gwynne Young

Office Assistant

Gwynne is the voice of Independent Tree; she is usually our client’s first point of contact when they call in and it is likely if you are a customer that you’ve spoken with Gwynne at some point.

Gwynne has a background in landscape work & was raised by an arborist father, so the green industry is something near & dear to her. Gwynne’s upbeat personality is loved by clients & co-workers alike. Outside of the office, Gwynne is a mother and grandmother, and is very involved in her local community and the 4H program.

The Independent Tree Service team in front of a huge pile of logs