Our Team

Smith Lawn and Tree (SLAT) was founded in 1997 by Jud Smith.  He started the company with one yard but continued to provide excellent customer service in his business through high school and college and grew the company into a small landscape firm.  In 2006 Smith Lawn and Tree merged with Metro Horticulture Services and brought on another Owner, Russell Simpler.  At that time Smith Lawn and Tree consisted of about 12 Employees.  Since then, SLAT has grown to over 100 Employees and their service area covers the entire metroplex.  Jud and Russell are both involved in the daily operations of the business.

Our mission is to help quality-conscious commercial property managers and homeowners realize their vision for a beautiful and sensible landscape, built with skill and reliably maintained. To deliver beauty and functionality, on time and on budget – every time – with turnkey services. We will hire and train the best staff and foster a culture of cooperation and teamwork to get the best results for the company and the customer. We will use the smartest methods and best components on every job to meet and exceed our customer’s expectations.


Jud Smith


Jud Smith founded Smith Lawn and Tree in 1997 and has had hands on involvement every day to grow Smith Lawn and Tree to what it is today. Jud attended Texas Christian University and continued to grow Smith Lawn and Tree through his college years.

Jud is a licensed irrigator, which has driven him in developing a large commercial installation division of the company. He enjoys implementing all commercial installations as well as many construction and hardscape projects. Jud is also the head of all tree operations.

Russell Simpler


Russell Simpler joined Smith Lawn and Tree in 2006 as a managing partner. Russell studied horticultural business at Tarleton State University which has excelled his knowledge of plants, turf, and landscape design. His entrepreneurial drive has helped in growing Smith Lawn and Tree into a large landscape management company serving the DFW metro area.

Russell is a licensed commercial pesticide applicator, and has over 13 years of green industry experience. His focus at Smith Lawn and Tree is on landscape management, employee development, and managing all financial aspects of the company.

David Yonis

Chief Operations Officer

David is a 2005 graduate of Tarleton State University with a degree in horticulture and landscape management. He’s been in the Dallas/Fort Worth area since 1996 although he grew up in Massachusetts. During college, David worked for 3 years at a tree farm in Stephenville, TX. After graduating from college, he worked for a design/build firm in Dallas for 10 years. David is a licensed irrigator in the state of Texas and a Texas Certified Landscape Professional through the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association (TNLA).

David has also served on the TNLA Region IV Board of Directors as a landscapce director (2008-2012) Vice-Chairman (2012) and Chairman (2013&2014). When he’s not working, David enjoys spending time with his wife, Marla, his son, Riley and daughter, McKenna.

Tammy Blackburn

Human Resources/Office Manager

Tammy Blackburn joined Smith Lawn and Tree in 2012 as the Office Assistant. She was promoted to the Office Manager in 2013, and in 2016 also became our Human Resources Manager . She has many responsibilities including payroll, Human Resources, managing the office/employee needs, and customer relations.

Tammy has over 17 years of experience in Customer Relations. She was born and raised in Fort Worth Texas. She attended Tarrant County College and majored in Psychology/Clinical Counseling. Her positive personality and passion for working with people is an asset to our customers and Smith Lawn and Tree.

Michael Strauss

Business Development Manager

Michael Strauss joined Smith Lawn and Tree in 2019 as our new Business Developer. He has been working in the green industry for the last 16 years. Prior to Smith he worked for a Dallas based company as the Director of Landscape Maintenance for 6 years. Michael holds an Irrigation Tech License with the state of Texas. He is well rounded in every aspect of landscaping which makes him a perfect fit for this role. Michael loves meeting with clients & building long lasting relationships.

Glen Jennings

Director of Tree Care

A new addition to the Smith team, Glen Jennings has been in the tree care industry for over 35 years. He attended Kansas State and became a Kansas certified arborist in 1989. A couple years later he received his certification through the International Society of Arboriculture. Glen enjoys being in this field because of his dedication to taking care of trees for our clients.

Shannon Finch

Residential Tree Care Manager

Shannon Finch joined the Smith Lawn and Tree team in March 2018 as an Arborist. He has been in the green industry since the early 2000’s, starting with lawn care. In 2014, he joined the Arborist world and received his certification through the International Society of Arboriculture. His meticulous attention to detail and dedication makes him a great asset to Smith Lawn and Tree. He loves the outdoors and spending time with his family.

Brandon Byrd

Account Manager, Fort Worth

Brandon Byrd joined the Smith Lawn and Tree team in 2018 as a Commercial Account Manager. Brandon studied Business Administration at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. During college, Brandon worked for 4 years at a landscape firm. After college, he worked numerous years in the construction industry in Management and Human Resources. Brandon decided to get back into the landscape industry 3 years ago excelling in Human Resources, Account Management, and Operations.

Brandon enjoys building strong, long lasting relationships with customers which makes him a great fit at Smith Lawn and Tree. When he’s not working, Brandon enjoys spending time with his son and daughter.

Shelly Richardson

Horticulturist/Account Manager, Fort Worth

Shelly is a degreed Horticulturist who first joined Smith Lawn and Tree as an Account Manager in early 2016 and rejoined us mid 2021 after a two-year break working as an artist on the Gulf Coast. Her artistic eye for creativity, balance, and color carries over into her landscape career where she specializes in seasonal color changes and container design. She previously worked for many years around DFW at golf courses and country clubs where she developed a keen attention to detail work. Shelly feels that good communication is key to building strong relationships with her clients and has really enjoyed developing these over the years at Smith.

Paul Preston

Account Manager, Fort Worth

Paul joined the Smith Lawn and Tree Team in Spring of 2022 as an Account Manager.  He is a United States Army Veteran, and after being honorably discharged in 2012, he became a certified mechanic.  Paul went on to work for a large them park where he gained a variety of experience, from fiberglass, upholstery, carpentry, and finally being promoted to managing the landscaping and grounds of the facility.  Paul discovered his love of landscape there and hasn’t looked back since.  He is now working towards his horticulture degree at a local university while being a full time team member with the Smith Family.


Paul Enjoys building long lasting client and vendor relationships and using his multitude of experiences to help everyone with any goals they may have.

Brent Bailey

Dallas Branch Manager

Brent Bailey joined Smith Lawn and Tree in 2015 as Residential Production Manager, and has since branched out into the role of Dallas Branch Manager. Brent graduated from Texas A&M University in 2011, with a Bachelors of Landscape Architecture. Upon graduation, he moved back to Dallas and has spent the last 6 years working in the landscape design/build industry. Brent is excited to continue his contributions to the DFW green industry with the Smith Lawn and Tree team, combining his rich experience in design and production.

Brent’s attention to detail in all aspects of a project, and strong commitment to customer satisfaction, help ensure every project and property meets Smith’s top tier level of quality. As Dallas Branch Manager, Brent applies his energy and passion for landscaping to our commercial portfolio, alongside the talented installation and maintenance crews of Smith Lawn and Tree.

Destany Hall

Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable

Destany Hall joined Smith Lawn and Tree in 2016 as the Office Assistant. She handles various responsibilities including scheduling and customer relations. In 2018 she was promoted to accounts payable/accounts receivable. She’s always jumping in to assist our staff and loves a challenge. Destany has over five years of experience specializing in Customer Relations.

A native Texan, Destany’s outgoing and bubbly personality with people is an asset to our customers and our company. When she is not working Destany loves spending time with her Pit babies.

Kelsea Sanders

Office Assistant

Kelsea Sanders joined Smith Lawn and Tree in 2019 as our Office Assistant. She handles scheduling and customer relations with over seven years of experience in customer service and always up for a challenge and enjoys helping the staff and customers.

Kelsea was born in Burleson, Texas, she has a contagious laugh and personality, which makes a great asset to our company. When she is not working, you can find her enjoying the outdoors, either out hunting or fishing.