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Our Mission

The TREE Fund is the leading non-governmental source of funding for research and education programs in the field of arboriculture (the science of cultivating and managing trees in a landscape). Our mission is to support sustainable communities and environmental stewardship by funding research, scholarships and education programs essential to the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge in the fields of arboriculture and urban forestry.  The foundation has distributed more than $6 million to date, in the form of scholarships and research grants to students and professionals in the industry.  Knowledge gained from more than 400 TREE Fund research grants since 1976 directly affects tree care practices, people’s lives and arborists’ techniques every day.

The results of more than 400 TREE Fund research grants since 1976 include:

  • Public safety and electric service reliability have been improved by scientifically determining which trees have the greatest potential to cause property damage, electrical outages, or a wildfire.
  • Studying ways to control diseases and pests has made it possible to minimize the damage caused by bark beetles and invasive ‘exotic’ pests, such as the emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle.
  • By researching planting depth, soil mixtures and paving technology, the methods for growing strong, healthy landscape trees have been revolutionized.
  • Quantifying the benefits of trees to the economy and environment makes it easier for governments and businesses to determine the return they’ll get on their tree care investment. Studies have focused on real estate values, air pollution reduction and the urban heat island effect, to name a few.
  • Improving the survivability of new tree selections for urban sites has been achieved through the development of hardier, drought and disease-resistant species.

Reducing pesticide and mechanical interventions has been achieved by proving the value of integrated pest management, which takes advantage of the tree’s natural characteristics and surroundings to fight pests and diseases.

Apply Today!

Online applications for the $100,000 TREE Fund Research Fellowship Grant are due Nov. 3.

Bartlett Tree Experts co-sponsored a symposium with the Chicago Botanic Gardens that we called 'Trees as a Legacy in Design and Development.' We had world class speakers including Peter Walker, the co-creator of the 9/11 National Memorial. Three out of our five speakers cited research they conducted that was made in part due to TREE Fund dollars! It was amazing to hear Dr. Michael Raupp, Dr. Kathy Wolf and Dr. Kelby Fite all mention the TREE Fund as contributing to their work. This is applied research at its best. When research projects such as these funded by the TREE Fund are centerpieces of conference talks I know our fundraising efforts are in the right direction. What made this even better was that the audience was NOT arborists. TREE Fund dollars were talking to landscape architects, architects, planners and government officials. There is not better advertisement for the TREE Fund than to hear applied research education allied professions to make the world a better place through trees.

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