TREE Fund awards more than a quarter million dollars for tree research and education projects

TREE Fund awarded more than $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 more than $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,” said 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, Ph.D. (Myerscough College, UK) and co-investigator Henrik Sjöman, Ph.D. (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, Ph.D. (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 ScholarshipBrady Dauber, Cuyahoga Community College

$2,000 John Wright Memorial ScholarshipMichael Tilton, University of Massachusetts Amherst

$3,000 Fran Ward Women in Arboriculture ScholarshipMaria Tranguch, Oregon State University

$5,000 Bonnie Appleton Memorial ScholarshipRebecca Pobst, Michigan State University