From the Director’s Chair – Fall 2011 TREE Fund Report

Return to Table of Contents – Fall 2011 TREE Fund Report

By Janet Bornancin
TREE Fund Executive Director

It seems appropriate that, as we wrap up our major fundraiser for the year, I’ve been immersed in the research that the STIHL Tour des Trees has made possible. Our Research and Education Committee, guided by Hallie Dozier, has been busy reviewing interim and final reports from our researchers, and Hallie and I recently had the opportunity to hear the findings of some of our industry’s top researchers at the Urban Tree Growth and Longevity Conference hosted by ISA and the Morton Arboretum. The TREE Fund supported a substantial portion of the research presented at the conference; it was gratifying to see our efforts (and your generosity) moving the arboriculture industry forward in such a tangible way.

Forward progress continues in New York City as well. While budget cuts have curtailed other aspects of NYC’s Million Trees Training Program, the Arboriculture Track continues to provide job training to young adults thanks to the continued commitment of our partners in this venture: Bartlett Tree Experts, Asplundh Tree Expert Co., STIHL and The Davey Tree Expert Company. Their dedication to this project is inspiring. The program will graduate its fourth class of trained tree care workers next spring.

On the “home front,” the Research and Education Committee recently awarded Hyland Johns grants to Michael Arnold and Ed Gilman. They will continue the investigative work being done in the areas of propagation, planting and pruning techniques and how they affect the longevity and strength of urban trees. The committee also approved an Arboriculture Education Grant for San Joaquin (CA) County’s Outdoor Science Education Program to support hands-on environmental education for thousands of 5th and 6th graders and, we hope, the opportunity for inspiration of the next generation of tree researchers.

Arboriculture education also took center stage during this year’s STIHL Tour des Trees. Toronto arborist and veteran Tour rider Warren Hoselton, aka Professor Elwood Pricklethorn, captivated the youngsters we met. Hundreds of children in Virginia now know that trees are “big air scrubbing factories” and that they convert sunlight into sugar via photosynthesis.

Our riders, the real rock stars of the Tour, demonstrated proper tree planting techniques, posed for photos and talked to everyone who would listen about arboriculture, urban trees and the TREE Fund. I continue to be awed by the passionate, dedicated people who ride this event each year. They bike hundreds of miles, raise extraordinary amounts of money for the TREE Fund and support each other like family through a hectic and arduous week. Experience the highlights of this year’s Tour in this issue, and visit the Tour website at for photos and an account of the experience from the perspective of first-time rider (and accomplished blogger) Helen Steussy.

Fundraising for the 2011 Tour continues through the end of the year, and we’re already deep in the planning process for 2012, when the Tour and the “Raise Your Hand for Research” auction follow the ISA conference to Portland, OR.

Please consider supporting a Tour rider or your Chapter’s fundraising team with a tax-deductible donation, or making a year-end gift to the TREE Fund during our Annual Appeal. As always, thank you for your generous support of the work that we do.

back to top >