Tree Fund header image

Recent Updates

2019 Tour des Trees: Save the Dates...

The 2019 Tour des Trees will take place September 15 to September 21, 2019, with a planned hub in Nashville, and a route that will take riders through Kentucky and Tennessee. Mark your calendar, and get more details about the ride HERE

TREE Fund awards over a quarter million ...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Karen Lindell

klindell@treefund.org

630-369-8300 x-203

News release in PDF format 

 

TREE Fund awards over a quarter million dollars for

tree research and education projects

Naperville, IL, August 13, 2018 – TREE Fund has awarded over $260,000 for urban tree research and education in its spring 2018 grant-making season. With these new awards, the 501(c)3 charity has provided over $3.6 million in grants and scholarships since its inception in 2002.

“Our spring round of awards this year continues TREE Fund’s strong commitment to preserving our core research and education grant-making portfolio, while aggressively pursuing new lines to support and sustain our industry,” says TREE Fund President and CEO J. Eric Smith. “We were particularly proud to award the first Utility Arborist Research Fund research grant and Bonnie Appleton Memorial Fund scholarship this year after completing those campaigns in 2017, and our innovative new partnership with Penn State Altoona, Asplundh, Corteva, PECO and FirstEnergy to continue vegetation management work at the historic Bramble and Byrnes test site in Pennsylvania demonstrates the creative ways we are collaborating with our partners to meet ongoing research needs effectively and efficiently, now and in the years to come.”   

 

2018 TREE Fund Research Grant Recipients

Hyland R. Johns Research Grant

Andrew Hirons, PhD (Myerscough College, UK) and Co-Investigator Henrik Sjöman, PhD (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden) aim to improve tree selection for stormwater management schemes and sites prone to waterlogging. In the study, “Enhancing the performance of urban storm water management schemes with tree selection: developing a new approach to accessing waterlogging tolerance in temperate trees,” Drs. Hirons and Sjöman will look at trees’ decline in sapflow under waterlogging and use this to quantitatively evaluate waterlogging tolerance. Data will be collected on the species’ drought tolerance as well. This combination of data will provide guidance on which species will perform best in these situations.

Safe Arborist Techniques Fund Grant

Alexander Laver (Tree Logic, working with Coventry University, UK) will use motion capture equipment to map the movements of a tree climber within the canopy of a tree. “Optimised techniques for arboreal activities” will then analyze the effect of different climbing methods on the climber’s body. The goal of this project is to be able to recommend best climbing methods that can keep climbers fit and healthy for a full and long career.

 

Utility Arborist Research Fund Grant

John Goodfellow (Bio-Compliance Consulting, Inc.) will supplement his previous work on constructing an economic business case for Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) on electric transmission rights-of-way (ROW) in this new study called, “The cost-effectiveness of integrated vegetation management.” This project will consider the many benefits of IVM, and will result in a more holistic assessment that includes both economic considerations and environmental externalities associated with IVM. The project will also include application of IVM methods on pipeline ROW. The goal is to produce a reference that will be useful to practitioners in selecting the least-costly and most beneficial ROW vegetation management techniques from a longer-term perspective of sustainability.

Sponsored Grant

Carolyn G. Mahan, PhD (Penn State Altoona) seeks to evaluate floral and faunal response to right-of-way management at three sites in Pennsylvania, including State Game Lands 33. “Long term effects of electrical right-of-way vegetation management on floral and faunal communities” will be conducted cooperation with the Center for Pollinator Research and the Frost Entomological Museum at Penn State University. 

Note: This project is sponsored by Asplundh Tree Experts, LLC; Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont; FirstEnergy Corp; and PECO Energy Company (an Exelon Company).

 

2018 TREE Fund Education Grant Recipients

Frank E. Gamma, Sr. Arboriculture Education Fund

Tree Care Industry Association Foundation (Londonderry, NH) – This grant supports the Arborist Safety Training Institute that brings high quality, local, and affordable safety training to working arborists. ASTI provides grants for job and safety training to minimize injury and promote overall workforce safety.

Ohio Chapter ISA Education Grant

Kent Roosevelt High School Forestry and Landscape Management Program (Kent, OH) – “Setting Young People Up for a Future in Arboriculture” is a program for high school students interested in tree care. With this grant, the school can provide students with updated climbing gear for an enhanced learning experience.

 

 

2018 TREE Fund Scholarship Recipients

$5,000 Robert Felix Memorial Scholarship

  • Jackson Chandler, Brigham Young University
  • Katrina Henn, Mississippi State University
  • Kaitlyn Pike, DePaul University

$3,000 Horace M. Thayer Scholarship – Brady Dauber, Cuyahoga Community College

$2,000 John Wright Memorial Scholarship – Michael Tilton, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

$3,000 Fran Ward Women in Arboriculture Scholarship – Maria Tranguch, Oregon State University

$5,000 Bonnie Appleton Memorial Scholarship – Rebecca Pobst, Michigan State University

 

About TREE Fund

Tree Research and Education Endowment (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 awards 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 treefund.org.

#   #   #

August 2018 news from TREE Fund...

Read the latest edition of our monthly newsletter, the TREE Press.

Davey Tree Establishes Educational Endow...

“All of us at TREE Fund are honored that Davey has chosen to have us serve as stewards and administrators for their new educational endowment fund. Davey has been incredibly influential in the evolution of the modern scientific tree care industry, while also demonstrating the myriad ways that a visionary company can create social and economic good for all the communities they touch with their work. This new long-term commitment to empowering arboriculture education is yet another profound example of Davey’s century-long commitment to making a difference in the world.” 

– J. Eric Smith, President and CEO of TREE Fund 

 

Read the full press release HERE.

 

 

July 2018 news from TREE Fund...

Read the latest edition of our monthly newsletter, the TREE Press.

Spring 2018 TREE Fund Grant Awards ̵...

 

Hyland R. Johns Grant

Andrew Hirons, PhD and Henrik Sjöman, PhD, Myerscough College, UK

“Enhancing the performance of urban storm water management schemes with tree selection: developing a new approach to accessing waterlogging tolerance in temperate trees”

The increasing prominence of stormwater management schemes provides excellent opportunities for the integration of trees into new urban developments; however, there is considerable uncertainty over which species will perform best in these schemes. A notable feature of landscapes designed to manage stormwater is that the substrates used are very free draining. This means that the tree species used must be tolerant to periods of both waterlogging and drought (water deficit).

This project aims to develop a new trait that can be used to develop robust recommendations on the tolerance of trees to waterlogging. This will form part of a constellation of traits that can be used to characterise the tolerance of species to a suite of key stressors in urban landscapes.

As sapflow in trees integrates the aerial and underground environments it has significant value in assessing the physiological activity of different species under contrasting environmental conditions. This study will look at the decline in sapfow under waterlogging and use this to quantitatively evaluate a range of species’ waterlogging tolerance. Further data will be collected on the species’ drought tolerance. It is anticipated that this information will transform the confidence of recommendations for stormwater management and provide a model for others in the research community to quantitatively evaluate tolerance to waterlogging. The overall goal of the project is to improve the confidence of tree selection for stormwater management schemes and sites prone to waterlogging.

 

Safe Arborist Techniques Fund Grant

Alexander Laver and James Shippen, PhD, Tree Logic (Working with Coventry University, UK)

“Optimised techniques for arboreal activities”

Recent advances in biomechanical motion analysis equipment has enabled the measurement of three-dimensional human movement within environments previously inaccessible. Previously motion analysis was performed using optical tracking equipment which, whilst accurate, was unsuitable for use outside and excluded its application to tree climbing. However motion capture equipment is now available which uses inertial tracking sensors and can operate in more realistic scenarios such as within the canopy of a tree. With this kit we are going to be able to map the movements of a tree climber as they climb, the data will then give us a body map showing the skeleton and muscle structure of the climber. We plan to record different access and climbing methods to analyse the effect on the climber body. We then plan to look at the task in the tree and work positioning options when undertaking those tasks. Having captured this information we can target a study, working with the climbers of mixed experience to see if climbers adapts their method to compensate for the stress and strains of the method or task. We hope this will guide us to recommend the best climbing methods for climbers to learn and master, to keep them fit and health and in the industry for a full and long career.

 

Utility Arborist Research Fund Grant

John Goodfellow, Bio-Compliance Consulting, Inc.

“The cost-effectiveness of integrated vegetation management”

There are 450,000 miles of transmission line operating at 35-765 kV across North America, with a total land area being managed as electric transmission rights-of-way (ROW) estimated at between 9-11 million acres. There are an additional 306,000 miles of natural gas and liquid petroleum pipeline in North America, representing an estimated 2 million areas of land. The researchers believe that less than half the total land areas in ROW is currently being managed under an IVM regime.

A project team led by John W. Goodfellow, and including SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry professors Chris Nowak Ph.D. and John Wagner Ph.D., recently completed a project that defined the economic business case for Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) on electric transmission ROW. The scope of that project applied least-cost economic analysis methods that focus exclusively on the direct cost to the utility of IVM practices. That approach limited any consideration of the benefits of IVM to simply avoided cost. However, indirect costs and benefits of IVM are important considerations.

The project being proposed will supplement the least-cost project, broadening the assessment to include consideration of the many benefits of IVM, and will result in a more holistic assessment that includes both economic considerations and environmental externalities associated with IVM. This will be accomplished by applying a cost-effectiveness analysis method to empirically combine monetary costs of a management action with outcomes produced from that action that can also be quantified, but that are not easily monetized. The project will also update and broaden the focus of the original least-cost study to include application of IVM methods on pipeline ROW. The goal is to produce a reference that will be useful to practitioners in selecting the least-costly and most beneficial ROW vegetation management techniques from a longer-term perspective of sustainability.

Carolyn Mahan, Ph.D., (Penn State University) and Phillip Charlton, Ph.D., will be collaborating with Mr. Goodfellow and Dr. Nowak for this expanded study.

 

Sponsored Grant

Carolyn G. Mahan, PhD, Penn State Altoona

“Long term effects of electrical right-of-way vegetation management on floral and faunal communities”

This project will continue, replicate, and expand the research and outreach efforts on the effects of right-of-way maintenance on floral and faunal communities at State Game Lands (SGL) 33 in Centre County, Pennsylvania and Green Lane Research and Demonstration Area (GLR&D), in southeastern Pennsylvania. The research team will be collecting data to understand the response of native bees and breeding birds midway through the treatment cycle on both the SGL 33 and GLR&D sites. The research team will also evaluate floral and faunal response to right-of-way management on a third study area in central Pennsylvania. This third area will be one that is 100 feet wide and has been managed using typical integrated vegetation management techniques.  Finally, the project will add an examination of ground beetle diversity (using pitfall traps) to the existing research design at all three research locations. Ground beetles are useful as sensitive environmental indicators and can help evaluate if vegetation management treatments affect soil communities and processes. All research will be conducted in cooperation with the Center for Pollinator Research and the Frost Entomological Museum at Penn State University. 

Note: This project is sponsored by Asplundh Tree Experts, LLC, Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, FirstEnergy Corp; PECO Energy Company (an Exelon Company).

June 2018 news from TREE Fund...

Read the latest edition of our monthly newsletter, the TREE Press. This issue also includes our new Research Report, a quarterly publication that features more in-depth research coverage.

Behind the Research: Meet Dr. Kathleen W...

How did you get interested in your field of work?      

Both of my parents came from farming families in the Midwest. My dad was a landscape contractor and avid outdoorsman. So being in nature was just part of growing up in the Pacific Northwest. I attended a liberal arts college where I majored in Biology, but was interested in both social and biological systems. My first real job? I was the first  urban forester for the City of Key West. I loved the intersection of the temperate and tropical flora in the Keys. Landscape architects started calling me to specify plants for their designs. I enjoyed working with them, and thought, this is it, a professional connection between people and plants. So, I went on to pursue a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture at the University of Michigan. While there I took classes with environmental psychologists Rachel and Stephen Kaplan. I was hooked; their studies of nature and human response were fascinating. They developed the Attention Restoration Theory, the idea that that our busy lifestyles deplete our ability to concentrate and be productive, so we need to spend time outside to recharge. So, I ‘re-enlisted’ for the Ph.D. program and continued with studies about the  patterns of human response to nature. This research, a passion, combines nature, science, culture, and (sometimes) design.

Your current research focuses on nature and human health. What is your ultimate goal with this line of study?

Research confirms that humans literally need time in nature, and I’m proud to have been part of that community of science. Evidence demonstrates that everyone needs access to “nearby nature” on a regular basis. This is not about that occasional vacation trip, or getting away from the city. It’s about every person having a consistent supply of ‘metro nature’ around them all the time. Next we need to provide nature programs that encourage more healthful activities. Some people don’t recognize nature benefits or don’t know how to enter that space. Programs like “Walk with a Doc” or “Yoga in the Park” can help. Of late I’ve become interested in making the availability of nature part of city policy beyond urban forestry, to elevate the science of nature benefits to city-wide change. The need(!) for trees, parks, and gardens needs to be integrated with housing policy, transportation policy, and so on, so it becomes part of all city systems.

What trends do you see in this area of research?

The research is expanding; I think the bigger change is social change. There is now greater public awareness and recognition by public officials of nature and human health benefits. And people in environmental health have traditionally focused on clean air and water, and removing toxins. Now they’re looking at nature in cities as a salutogenic influence, a way to prevent disease and promote health. This leads to all sorts of new research questions:

  • What is the best “dose” of nature? Where, how much, how often?
  • What are the characteristics of nature (e.g., native plants vs. ornamental) that are better for human health?
  • Do people of different cultural backgrounds, age groups, etc. require different types or doses of nature?
  • Do different clinical situations (i.e., asthma vs. heart problems, etc.) call for different nature encounters?

There’s also more interest in collaboration across science disciplines. At the University of Washington, we have a cross-campus Nature & Health group that welcomes all comers. It is hosted by REI and the UW Center for Creative Conservation. We discuss research plans, and lots of topics, including equity and diversity within urban forestry, and management plans for urban forestry that include human health. 

What’s next with your research?

I’m working with Health Canada and Natural Resources Canada on a literature review of city trees and human health response, and estimate that an article will be ready to submit in about six months. The next step would be to monetize those health benefits. Then in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy and the Forest Service, I will be teaming up to develop a Health Metrics Toolkit for community-oriented projects. It will be sort of like i-Tree, but with a human health orientation. It will allow communities to measure the health outcomes of their local programs. Ages and stages . . . lately I’m elevating my interest in human health and nature research to broader situations such as community level metrics or city level policy.

Do you have any final thoughts or words of wisdom you’d like to share?

Trees and arboriculture are important. But I think we should take urban forestry to another level in many communities. Trees are part of human health solutions, but we may need to take a broader look at how we define nature in cities and who we partner with.

 

Leading Thoughts – May 2018...

By J. Eric Smith, TREE Fund President and CEO

I live in downtown Chicago and work in Naperville, Illinois, with about a 70-mile roundtrip home-to-office commute each day. I cover most of that distance on trains, but there’s about six miles each day that I do on foot. While the weather is (finally!) halfway decent this month, my walking experience is still not exactly optimal, since I’m trudging through the funky smell (somewhere between cat urine and spoiled tuna) of the dreaded Bradford, Cleveland Select, and other ornamental pear trees, typically high on the “worst trees” list for arborists and urban foresters.

They are everywhere in and around Chicago, both in planned locations (I look out from my condo over a sea of them in Grant Park, and there are lines of them at Naperville’s train station) and in unfortunate, unplanned sites; the supposedly-sterile invaders have gone feral over the years, cross-pollinating with other pear trees, their often-thorny, always-brittle spawn popping up aggressively as weeds, to the detriment of other species. I grew up in a part of the country that was devastated by kudzu, and there is an increasing awareness that Bradford and related ornamental pear crosses may be an even more disastrous and expensive-to-mitigate plague than the creeping vines that ate the Carolinas.

And yet: in the past year, new sections of the Chicago River Walk have been completed near the confluence of the North and South Forks. I watched the construction and was pleased to see many of the scientific planting principles we espouse being deployed in the preparation stages – only to be disappointed when they ended up putting in ornamental pears! The developers of these new municipal assets must be aware of the fact that they are planting “bad” trees to get a few weeks’ worth of pretty flowers each year, but somehow their life cycle arithmetic and aesthetic considerations still point to ornamental pears. And that’s just wrong.

TREE Fund can play a role in better educating urban and municipal planners, developers, landscape architects, civil engineers and other related professionals to not make such mistakes. In fact, this is the purpose of the Bob Skiera Memorial Building Bridges Fund, which will award grants for programs to educate decision-makers outside of our core arboricultural disciplines on what to do – and what not to do – with our urban and community forests.

We are within about $20,000 of the $500,000 goal to activate this fund in 2019. If you’d consider making a gift to the Skiera Fund, we’ll be better able in the years ahead to fight the blight of bad, bad trees.

 

Celebrate National Bike Month with a don...

 

May 14 to 20 ONLY – every $50 gift to the Tour earns you a chance to win a pair of Canopy Pants, courtesy of Arborwear. These high-quality, breathable pants are perfect for work or outdoor adventures. The prize drawing will take place on May 23, and the winner will be notified promptly.

Thank you for supporting the Tour and good luck!

DONATE NOW

Thank You for Another Successful Tour des Trees

See photos from this year's ride on our Facebook page, Twitter feed, and Flickr page!

close window