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June 2017 news from TREE Fund...

Read the latest edition of our monthly TREE Fund Bulletin.

May 2017 news from TREE Fund...

Read the latest edition of our monthly TREE Fund Bulletin.

April 2017 news from TREE Fund...

Read the latest edition of our monthly TREE Fund Bulletin.

TREE Fund awards over half a million dol...

Naperville, IL, March 16, 2017 – TREE Fund is pleased to announce its final round of 2016 grant awards for urban tree research and education. With these grants, the 501(c)3 charity reached a record-breaking ~$550,000 in new awards in 2016, bringing its total disbursement of funding to nearly $3.2 million since its inception in 2002.

“We achieved this higher level of grant-making in 2016 by increasing both the number and the value of several of our grant lines,” explains TREE Fund President and CEO J. Eric Smith. “We are proud and excited to be able to empower a larger body of new work, all through the tremendous international support we receive from our individual and organizational partners.”

Grants issued in the latter part of 2016 included an important long-term utility arboriculture test program in California; three grants supporting research on safe rigging, accurate tree surveying, and proper root removal; and TREE Fund’s signature Research Fellowship designed to cultivate emergent lines of inquiry in the field. Two Jack Kimmel International Grants, supported by Canadian TREE Fund and its riders in the STIHL Tour des Trees outreach and fundraising event, will fund essential work on soil cell technology and climate change.


2016 Research Fellowship Grant recipient:

Mitchell Pavao-Zuckerman, PhD (University of Maryland) and Co-Investigator Dr. Raymond Weil (University of Maryland) will evaluate approaches to improve urban soil quality, including the use of agricultural cover crops. The “Innovative Practices to Enhance Soil Quality for Vacant Urban Lot Afforestation” project also supports the training of a PhD student who is a practicing landscape designer, thus expanding the scope of professions that address soil quality and management for urban forestry practice.


2016 Utility Arborist Research Fund Grant recipient:

Christopher M. Halle, PhD (Sonoma State University) and Co-Investigator Claudia Luke, PhD (Sonoma State University) will compare the efficacy of mechanical only vs. mechanical plus herbicide treatment in establishing low-growing native plant communities in a range of western ecosystems in the “Integrated vegetation management on powerline rights of ways: effects of vegetation treatment on plant communities and wildlife diversity” project. The effects on local animals and pollinators will also be studied. TREE Fund thanks Pacific Gas and Electric Company and Utility Arborist Association for their support of this directed grant.


2016 John Z. Duling Grant recipients:

Adam Berland, PhD (Ball State University) and Co-Investigator Jess Vogt, PhD (DePaul University) seek to understand the possibilities and limitations of virtual street tree surveys using Google Street View in their “Evaluating virtual street tree surveys as a tool for municipal forest management” research. The study will look at data quality using this approach and assess how analyst expertise impacts it. Findings will provide guidance for communities considering this innovative inventory approach.

Justin Morgenroth, PhD (University of Canterbury, New Zealand) and Co-Investigator Andrew Koeser, PhD (University of Florida) will monitor physiological and tree growth responses to various root removal treatments in “Measuring tree response to increasing root removal intensities.” This work will help determine ‘acceptable’ root removal limits, and establish evidence-based root removal guidelines.

Brian Kane, PhD (University of Massachusetts Amherst) and Co-Investigator Mark Reiland (University of Massachusetts Amherst) will assess the likelihood of failure of different parts of a tree rigging system in their study “Measuring forces at multiple locations in rigging systems.” This robust project will help tree care professionals understand exactly which parts of the rigging are more likely to fail under different scenarios.


2016 Jack Kimmel International Grant recipients:

Francesco Ferrini, PhD (University of Florence, Italy) and Co-Investigator Simone Orlandini, PhD (University of Florence, Italy) hypothesize that the common but harmful pruning practice called topping not only depresses tree health, but also directly reduces thermal comfort and human well-being in cities. They will explore this possibility in their study “Effect of topping on microclimate condition and human comfort.”

Camilo Ordóñez, PhD (Ryerson University, Canada) and Co-Investigator Andrew Millward, PhD (Ryerson University, Canada) are evaluating the factors that contributed to the decline and mortality of urban trees in Toronto planted using structural soil cell technology. Their project, Investigating street tree decline and mortality in commercial urban spaces revitalized with structural soil cell technology to improve planting and maintenance practices, will help guide future decisions about the use of this technology.


2016 Ohio Chapter ISA Education Grant recipient:

The Holden Arboretum (Kirtland, Ohio) seeks to increase awareness and interest in the areas of community forestry and arboriculture among middle and high school students through its two-day Forest Immersion XP camp.


2016 Scholarship recipients:


l. to r.: Conor Smith (U. of New Hampshire), Thomas McNulty (Penn State University), Allison Wilson (Penn State Mont Alto)


View all past recipients of TREE Fund grants and scholarships here.


About TREE Fund
TREE Fund is a 501(c)3 charity dedicated to the discovery and international dissemination of new knowledge in urban forestry and arboriculture (the science of caring for trees in a landscape). TREE Fund manages a portfolio of scholarships and education grants to engage and support the next generation of tree stewards, and multiple research grants to improve the science, safety and practice of arboriculture.

With support from individual donors and Partners, TREE Fund research has contributed to:

  • Improving conditions for tree growth in difficult sites
  • Developing strategies to manage diseases and pests that affect urban trees
  • Improving utility line clearing practices
  • Understanding air pollution reduction and carbon sequestration by trees
  • Determining the costs and benefits of urban trees

For more information, visit

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TREE Fund is hiring...

We are seeking a full time Development Manager (Major Gifts). Read the description and application procedure HERE.

March 2017 news from TREE Fund...

Read the latest edition of our monthly TREE Fund Bulletin.

Internships available at Holden Forest &...

Holden Forest & Gardens (The Holden Arboretum and Cleveland Botanical Garden) has multiple internship positions available:

Learn more at



A productive meeting of minds at Biomech...

It was a “who’s who” of tree researchers and practitioners that met at the Davey Tree Research Farm in northeast Ohio last summer for the third installation of Tree Biomechanics Week. This gathering, supported in part by TREE Fund, has been taking place once every three years as a way to cross-pollinate ideas and get researchers and practitioners working together to encourage them to take a broader view of their potential connections and contributions to tree care. Thank you to practicing arborist and aerial consultant Guy Meilleur for contributing this write-up about the 2016 event: Biology, Mechanics and Tree Care.

February 2017 news from TREE Fund...

Read the latest edition of our monthly TREE Fund Bulletin.





TREE Fund research published in 2016...

2016 was a great year for TREE Fund research. Not only did we award a record-breaking ~$550,000 in new grants, we also saw several TREE Fund-supported projects published and presented around the world, getting new knowledge into the heads and hands of the tree care professionals who care for our urban forest.

TREE Fund’s mission is to support scientific discovery and dissemination of new knowledge in the fields of arboriculture and urban forestry. As such, TREE Fund studies or research-related items appeared in every edition of our monthly newsletter, TREE Fund Bulletin, in 2016; you can find that information archived on our website. We conducted two free webinars featuring Dr. Ed Gilman on pruning and Dr. Bryant Scharenbroch on soil, and those reached roughly one thousand people across the globe. The webinars were so well-received that we’re expanding the program in 2017.

Results from TREE Fund studies were disseminated in peer-reviewed journals, industry publications and conference theses in 2016 – not to mention presentations. The published works are listed below. Read more about projects funded by TREE Fund and continue to keep up with the latest research results in the Grant Archive section of our website.

Ball, J.  2016.  How much does a tree weigh? Tree Care Industry 27(9): 12-15.

Chornobai V., Hrubskyy Y., Tistechok S.I., Fedorenko V., Gromyko O. Properties of actinobacteria from Potentilla depressa Willd. Ex SCH LTDL. rhizosphere and their biotechnological potential // XIII Conf. of Young Scientists “Scientific, applied and educational aspects of physiology, genetics, plant biotechnology and microorganisms”, Kyiv, May 19-20, 2016, P. 80-81.

Foard, M., D. J. Burnette, D. R. L. Burge, and T. D. Marsico.  2016.  Influence of river channelization and the invasive shrub, Ligustrum sinense, on oak (Quercus spp.) growth rates in bottomland hardwood forests.  Applied Vegetation Science 19(3): 401-412.

Garcia-Chance, L. M., M. A. Arnold, G. C. Denny, S. T. Carver and A. R. King (2016). Differential Environments Influence Initial Transplant Establishment among Tree Species Produced in Five Container Sizes. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 42(3): 170-180.

Garcia, L.L., M.A. Arnold, L. Lombardini, R.T. Watson, S.T. Carver, and A.R. King.  2016. Is the old adage about small container-grown trees catching up to larger trees once they’re planted in the landscape true? In the Shade: Newsletter of the ISA Texas Chapter 40(3): 10-11.

Gilman, E., M. Paz and C. Harchick (2016). Effect of Container Type and Root Pruning on Growth and Anchorage after Planting Acer Rubrum L. Into Landscape Soil. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 42(2): 73-83.

Grabosky J and Bassuk N.  2016 “Seventeen years’ growth of street trees in structural soil compared with a tree lawn in New York City.” Urban Forestry & Urban Greening  Vol. 16,103-109.

Harris, J. Roger, Day, Susan D. and Kane, Brian. 2016. Growth and stability of deep planted red maple and northern red oak trees and the efficacy of root collar excavations. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 18:19-24.

Hauer, R.J. and W. Peterson. 2016. Building and Growing Professionals for Trees: Arboricultural Standards and Credentials. Arborist News 25(1):42 – 46.

Hauer R. J. and Peterson W. D. 2016. Municipal Tree Care and Management in the United States: A 2014 Urban & Community Forestry Census of Tree Activities. Special Publication 16-1, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. 71 pp.

Hauer, R. and W. Peterson. 2016. Effects of Emerald Ash Borer on Municipal Forestry Budgets. Conference Proceedings of the International Society of Arboriculture 92nd Annual Conference & Trade Show. Fort Worth, TX. August 13 – 15, 2016.

Hauer R. and W. Peterson. 2016 Municipal Forestry Budgets and Employee Compensation. Arborist News. 25(5): 58 – 61.

Haugen, C., K. Tucker, A. Smalling, E. Bick, S. Hoover, G. Ehlen, T. Watson and S. Bernick (2016). The Efficacy of Paclobutrazol Soil Application as It Relates to the Timing of Utility Right-of-Way Pruning. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 42(2): 95-101.

Johnson, G., R. Hauer, W. Peterson, D. Karcher, and J. Gulick. 2016. Financing the Urban Forest: Volunteers as a Source of Revenue and Program Support. Arborist News. 25(4):20 – 25.

Koeser, A. K., R. J. Hauer, A. Hillman, and  W. Peterson. 2016. Risk and Storm Management Operations in the United States –  How Does Your City Compare?. Arborist News. 25(2):20 – 23.

Koeser, A. K., R. J. Hauer, J.W. Miesbauer, and W. Peterson. 2016. Municipal Tree Risk Assessment in the United States: Findings from a Comprehensive Survey of Urban Forest Management. Arboricultural Journal. 38(4):

Peterson, W. and R. Hauer, and W. Peterson. Getting work done in the Urban Forest: Community Staffs, Volunteers, and Contractors. Arborist News. 25(6): 34 – 38.

Ries, P., R. Hauer, and W. Peterson. 2016 Systematic Management of the Urban Forest. Arborist News. 25(3):46–49.

Rigsby, C.M., D.A. Herms, P. Bonello, and D. Cipollini.  2016. Higher activities of defense-associated enzymes may contribute to greater resistance of Manchurian ash to emerald ash borer than a closely related and susceptible congener.  Journal of Chemical Ecology 42:782-792.

Vasylenko A., Hrubsky Y., Tistechok S., Fedorenko V., Gromyko O. Biotechnical Potential evaluation of actinobacteria from Phyllostachys viridi-Glaucescens (CARR.) A. Et C.RIVIERE rhizosphere from the protaction and promotion of plant growth // XII Inter. Scientific Conf. fron students and PhD Students “Youth and progress of biology”, Lviv, April 19-21, 2016. – P. 140-141.

Villari, C., D.A. Herms, J.G.A. Whitehill, D. Cipollini, and P. Bonello.  2016.  Progress and gaps in understanding mechanisms of ash tree resistance to emerald ash borer, a model for wood boring insects that kill angiosperm trees.  New Phytologist 209:63-79.

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