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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 scientific discovery and dissemination of new knowledge in the fields of arboriculture and urban forestry.  Since its inception in 2002, the TREE Fund has distributed more than $2.6 million in the form of scholarships and research grants to students and professionals in the industry.  Knowledge gained from TREE Fund research grants  directly affects tree care practices, people’s lives and arborists’ techniques every day.

The results of TREE Fund research grants 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.

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The TREE Fund is invaluable to our research in the Morton Arboretum Soil Science (MASS) laboratory. A major goal of our lab is to perform research on managing urban soil quality with the intent of improving urban tree establishment and growth. The outcomes of the research have direct application to horticulture, arboriculture, and urban forestry. The TREE Fund is one of the only institutions in the world funding this type of research. Without the TREE Fund this research would not be conducted.

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