TREE Fund announces 2017 Research and Education Awards

TREE Fund announced its 2017 grant awards for urban tree research and education. TREE Fund issued ~$225,000 in new awards in 2017, bringing its total disbursement of funding to over $3.4 million since the inception of TREE Fund in 2002.


Hyland R. Johns Research Grants

Richard Hauer, PhD (University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point) will create an easy-to- use tool to evaluate and track progress within urban forestry programs. Ultimately the “Sustainable urban forestry planning models and decision making dashboard” project will help urban forest planners create a story of the current state of their urban forestry program and identify areas to improve, thus leading to a sustainable urban forest program and tree population.

Kathleen Wolf, PhD (University of Washington) will extract research about human health benefits specific to city trees and forests and conduct an economic valuation of such benefits. The “Urban forests for human health: a focused economic valuation” project will provide professionals in arboriculture, urban forestry, landscape design, etc. with additional data for justifying the costs of tree planning, planting and management.


Safe Arborist Techniques Fund Grant


Brian Kane, PhD (University of Massachusetts Amherst) will collect and analyze safety standards from around the world in the “Arboricultural safety around the world” project. It will serve as a foundation for future studies into safe working practices in arboriculture.


Directed Grant: Arboriculture Education Benchmark Review

Eric Wiseman, PhD (Virginia Tech) and Co-Investigator Sarah Gugercin (Virginia Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation) will inventory organizations involved with arboriculture/urban forestry educational grant-making programs in recent years. The “Education Review Program” project will provide a thorough analysis on such programs to guide decision-making on future TREE Fund Arboriculture Education grants.


Directed Grant: Research Impacts and Outcomes Study

Andrew Koeser, PhD (University of Florida – Gulf Coast REC) and Co-Investigator Rich Hauer, PhD (University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point) will conduct a comprehensive review of all past TREE Fund-supported research in their study “Research Review Program.” Their work will gauge direct and indirect outcomes, outputs, and impacts of the funded projects.


John Z. Duling Grant

Nina Bassuk, PhD (Cornell University) seeks to improve tree transplant success and ultimately provide greater tree species diversity in the nursery industry via root manipulation. In the “Enhancing Tree Transplant Success through the Manipulation of Root Hydraulic Conductance” project, Dr. Bassuk will manipulate root growth to increase the rate and efficiency of water uptake, resulting in a production practice that can improve a tree’s ability to respond to transplant shock.


Jack Kimmel International Grants

Kimmel grants are supported by Canadian TREE Fund and its riders in the Tour des Trees outreach and fundraising event.

Rachael Antwis, PhD (University of Salford, U.K.) and Co-Investigator Stephen Parnell, PhD (University of Salford, U.K.) are exploring natural microbial communities of trees as a way to address emerging infectious diseases such as the chalara fungus infecting ash. The “Fighting microbes with microbes to protect our native trees” study aims to identify microbial signatures of ash resistance to chalara and markers of host gene expression to identify resistant trees for cultivation and reforestation.

Liliana Franco-Lara, PhD (Universidad Militar Nueva Granada) and Co-Investigator Helena Brochero, PhD (Universidad Militar Nueva Granada) aim to better understand the diseases caused by phytoplasma (a type of bacteria) that are affecting urban trees in Bogotá, including the strategically important Andean oak (Q. humboldtii). The “Identification of possible insect vectors of phytoplasmas in Quercus humboldtii Bonpla in Bogotá, Colombia” project will detect the insects associated with the Andean oak and identify the species that may be transmitting the bacteria. Findings will serve to define strategies to manage and reduce the spread of phytoplasmal diseases.


2017 Education Awards


Arboriculture Education Grants

Friends of the Urban Forest (San Francisco, CA) – The “Green Teens – Vocational Skills Job Training” initiative provides practical job skills training to low-income, high school aged youth. It is an integral part of the organization’s plans to expand and preserve San Francisco’s tree canopy, while empowering at-risk youth.

TreeFolks (Del Valle, TX) – With the “Youth Tree Climbing Initiative” TreeFolks will expand its active and educational urban forestry activities for underserved youth in Austin to include tree climbing.


Ohio Chapter ISA Education Grant

Columbus State Community College (Columbus, OH) – The “Columbus State Arboriculture Education Expansion and Tree Care Academy Project” seeks to increase awareness of the field of arboriculture and create an entry point for the college’s new Arboriculture Technician Certificate. The weeklong Youth Tree Care Academy for students age 16+ provides a hands-on introduction to arboriculture as well as the certificate program.


Frank E. Gamma, Sr. Arboriculture Education Fund

Tree Care Industry Association Foundation (Londonderry, NH) – This grant supports the Arborist Safety Training Institute, which works to bring 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.


Robert Felix Memorial Scholarship

  • Laura Mantin, Humber College, ON, Canada
  • Conor Smith, University of New Hampshire


Horace M. Thayer Scholarship

Timothy Lentz, University of Delaware


John Wright Memorial Scholarship

Savannah Haines, University of Maine


Fran Ward Women in Arboriculture Scholarship

Jennifer Halterman, Pennsylvania State University