Bonnie Appleton Memorial Scholarship

The Bonnie Appleton Memorial Scholarship was established by the MidAtlantic Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (MAC-ISA) and Trees Virginia, to honor the memory of Dr. Appleton. The purpose of this scholarship is to provide financial support to a student majoring in urban forestry, arboriculture, horticulture, or nursery management. Dr. Appleton had a true love of science and a passion for horticulture and arboriculture that was evident in everything she did. Her influence extended far beyond her base of operations at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Dr. Appleton was a respected researcher, a prolific writer and a dedicated educator and mentor to her students and colleagues at Virginia Tech. She was internationally known and respected and recognized often for her contributions to arboriculture, horticulture and academia. Her untimely passing in July 2012 has brought into sharp focus how many lives she touched during her career.

Scholarship award amounts are $5,000 each, to be paid in two increments, one in the fall semester, one in the spring (Second payment is contingent upon re-enrollment and GPA standards being met). The award is non-renewable, and no applicant may receive more than one award from this program. All awards will be paid directly to the educational institution attended by the recipient in two equal payments.  Awards may only be applied to tuition expense and applicants may not request scholarships greater than the anticipated amount of their tuition expense for the academic year in which the grants will be paid.

Applicants must meet all the following criteria to qualify:

  • Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in urban forestry, arboriculture, horticulture, nursery management or a related field
  • Rising junior or senior who will be enrolled full- time at an accredited undergraduate institution in the United States during the scholarship award year
  • Clear commitment to pursuing a career in one of these fields
  • 3.0 GPA minimum


TREE Fund will accept letters of interest to apply between January 15 and March 1, those who qualify will have until March 15 to complete their application. Please send an email containing a brief (no more than 100 words) introduction of yourself (e.g., name, school, year, expected graduation date, and applicable work information) to with your interest to apply for a scholarship. TREE Fund staff will confirm eligibility for consideration, and if you qualify, will send you a numbered application form for your use. You may apply for more than one TREE Fund scholarship on a single application form.

Upon completion of this application form, you will save a Word version for your records, then create a PDF version of the completed document with title in the format “Your Surname, Scholarship Program, Application Number” (e.g., “Smith, Appleton, #20-023”), and email it as an attachment to with a PDF of your reference letters (two required), and your academic transcript. Staff will confirm receipt of your application at that time.

Applicants will need the following information to complete the form. (Note: Word count limits are firm. Exceeding word counts may result in your application being rejected before review. Applicants should compose their text in Word or related systems that allow counts to be confirmed before they are placed in the application form.)

  • Educational standing and enrollment status
  • History of scholarships and extracurricular activities
  • Essay describing your reasons for pursuing your chosen career, your goals and objectives, and why you should be chosen for this scholarship (maximum 1000 words)
  • Current transcript
  • Proof of student membership in the International Society of Arboriculture
  • Two letters of recommendation or contact information for people who will provide them (one must be from your academic advisor)


TREE Fund, MAC-ISA and Trees Virginia are particularly interested in having its scholarship recipients begin and remain in careers in urban forestry, arboriculture, horticulture, nursery management or a related field. Applicant essays should provide TREE Fund with a sense of the student’s career aspirations and plans within these industries, and academic, work and extracurricular activities should reflect commitment toward this goal.

Applications will be evaluated by TREE Fund’s Education Committee. Members of this committee will rate applications using the following rubric:

  • Cumulative GPA: 20 points
  • Essay: 30 points
  • Advisor letter of recommendation: 20 points
  • Second letter of recommendation: 15 points
  • Potential for continuing career in arboriculture, urban forestry, or related fields: 15 points
  • Total Maximum Possible Score: 100 points.

TREE Fund does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, disability or national or ethnic origin. Current trustees of TREE Fund or any member of the family of any such trustee are ineligible to receive scholarships from TREE Fund.


Recommendations on scholarship awards will be presented to TREE Fund Board of Trustees in May, each year, and will be announced within two weeks of their decision. The award letter will include instructions on submitting acceptance information for the scholarship award.

Upon TREE Fund’s receipt of the acceptance information, the first ($2,500) scholarship payment will be made to the institution.