Viewpoint: Winter 2012

Return to Table of Contents – Winter 2012 TREE Fund Report

By Janet Bornancin
TREE President/CEO

We started 2011 with ambitious goals for our research and education programs; I’m pleased to share with you the results of our efforts and your generosity.

The TREE Fund Research and Education Committee, led by Dr. Hallie Dozier, reviewed 59 applications and awarded more than $112,300 in 2011 to support new research projects in our priority areas of root and soil management, planting and establishment, risk assessment and arborist safety, and urban forestry.

An additional $41,000+ was disbursed to support the ongoing work of multi-year grant recipients such as Dr. Brian Kane (Univ. of Mass. Amherst), recipient of our 2009 Dr. Mark McClure Research Fellowship, and Dr. Kane’s fellow Hyland R. Johns Grant recipients Dr. Bryant Scharenbroch (The Morton Arboretum) and Dr. Kelby Fite (Bartlett Research Labs). Dr. Kane’s work is expected to contribute significantly to our knowledge of how decay impacts trees’ ability to withstand stress, and how best to utilize cabling to support stressed trees. The Scharenbroch/Fite inquiry into the potential of biochar as an urban soil amendment caught the attention of the Chicago media last spring, which featured the project in an Earth Day broadcast. Not all of our research projects are “flashy” enough to make the 6 o’clock news, but I believe wholeheartedly that our work is making a difference in the health of our trees and the safety of those who care for them.

We also helped defray the cost of college with scholarships for 3 aspiring tree care professionals in 2011, and awarded an Arboriculture Education Grant to provide materials and scientific equipment for outdoor (and arboriculture) education experiences for thousands of middle school students in California each year. And I’m proud to announce the debut of a new grant to support arboriculture education in the Buckeye state, funded entirely by the Ohio Chapter of ISA.

These programs speak directly to our commitment to the future of the tree care industry. Most of today’s certified arborists will tell you that their interest in the environment began with time spent in the company of trees as a kid. Today’s youngsters are in real danger of growing up “nature deprived.” Because young people have fewer opportunities to interact spontaneously with nature, we need to seek out and support programs which will engage their interest and inspire them to consider green careers. Our partners in the MillionTreesNYC Training Program have experienced firsthand the difference that inspiration and opportunity can make in the life of a young adult. The success of this ongoing program continues to inspire everyone involved with it.

I’m pleased to announce that we deposited $267,000 into our Endowment fund in 2011, moving us closer to the $3 million goal set by our Trustees several years ago. Their objective, and mine, is to ensure that funding for arboriculture and urban forestry research and education is available in perpetuity.

You can read more about our accomplishments in 2011 and our goals for 2012 in this issue and on our website. I ask you to support our efforts by making a gift to the TREE Fund, supporting a 2012 Tour rider, buying a chance on our Split-the-Pot raffle from your Chapter Liaison, purchasing an auction item or volunteering your time and skills to one of our local or national fundraising events. Everything we accomplish this year will come back to you. Thank you for helping us to realize our goals, and inspiring us to continue to reach toward new ones.

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