Friday, July 12, 2013

Cyclists Ride to Save America’s Urban Forests

America’s largest fundraiser for tree research kicks off in July


While many may think a tree is forever, the average lifespan of an urban tree is actually less than 10 years. Thanks to grants from the Tree Research and Education Endowment Fund (TREE Fund) however, researchers are working to change that with better methods for propagating, planting, and caring for urban trees. The Tour has attracted a lot of media interest and has been featured in the Huffington Post, CNN, and Forbes.

In July, over 100 cyclists will ride 585 miles to raise awareness and hundreds of thousands of dollars as part of the annual STIHL Tour des Trees, a weeklong cycling fundraiser for the TREE Fund.  The event, America’s largest fundraiser for tree research, has raised more than $6 million since its inception in 1992 and funded hundreds of research grants focused on arboriculture, urban forestry and the safety of the tree care workforce.

Riders come from all walks of life but most are professional arborists. This year 6 of the riders are employees of STIHL.  Members of Team STIHL work in our sales, manufacturing and technical services departments and this year we even have a rider from our founding company in Germany.

This year’s route will take riders from Niagara Falls to Toronto and along the way they will have numerous stops to conduct tree plantings, children’s educational programs and community engagement activities designed to highlight the benefits trees provide.

All of this is to raise money to fund grants that the TREE Fund awards each year.  Recently awarded grants include $10,000 to Chicago’s Morton Arboretum, where an international team of scientists collaborated with NASA engineers utilizing NASA technology to identify areas of weakness in trees and more accurately predict the likelihood of breakage or failure under stress. This groundbreaking research will contribute to development of improved risk assessment tools for tree care professionals around the world.

“Urban trees pay dividends beyond cleaning the air we breathe and beautifying the space around us,” said TREE Fund president and CEO Janet Bornancin. “Research supported by the TREE Fund and the STIHL Tour des Trees provides professional arborists with scientifically proven methods to address the tree care challenges faced by homeowners, municipalities and utilities.  TREE Fund supported research has helped to prove that investing in (and properly caring for) urban trees yields substantial, measurable returns.”

Photos and videos from previous Tours are available at http://stihltourdestrees.org/2012/08/2012-stihl-tour-des-trees-photo-gallery/. Learn more at www.stihltourdestrees.org.

Anyone can help this great cause. Donate to the Tour today! Learn more at www.stihltourdestrees.org and www.treefund.org.

Sponsors of the STIHL Tour des Trees include STIHL Inc.; TREE Fund Crown Sponsor Bartlett Tree Experts; TREE Fund Partners Arborjet; Asplundh Tree Expert Co.; International Society of Arboriculture; KASK Helmets; Tree Care Industry Association; along with The Davey Tree Expert Company; Tree Services Magazine; Arbor Age; Lewis Tree Service; National Grid;Arizona Public Service; PacifiCorp; Unitil; Arborwell; New York State Arborists; Ontario Chapter ISA, Trees, Inc.; SavATree; Utility Arborist Association; West Coast Arborists Inc.; Anderson’s Tree Care; Eco-Bond; Ford Motor Company; Forestry Equipment of Virginia; Gamma Tree Experts LLC; Lakefront Utilities/GRCA; Morrisville State College; Tamarack Tree Care; Vermeer; Wright Tree Service, Inc.; and Workshop Creative Group.
 

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