December 2022

Kathleen Wolf

Trees and science: Part 2 of 3

By Kathleen Wolf, Ph.D., TREE Fund Trustee

2.Bridging ‘Why?’ and ‘How?’

The science that supports arboriculture and urban forestry has expanded dramatically in recent decades. Some studies, including the majority of projects supported by TREE Fund, address the practical ‘how’ of tree planting and management. Other studies address the ‘why’, in that they present the case for why organizations and communities should invest in and sustain trees. As a social scientist, my career has been grounded in research on why trees are essential, even profoundly important assets in human communities. Yet my earliest education was in biology and botany, so I often seek to bridge biophysical and social questions in research.


Why should community leaders, the general public, and even donors care about trees? People who work in green industries have strong intuitions about tree benefits, and research in recent decades supports those hunches. Despite the research many local policy-makers and key decision-makers in both public and private sectors have little knowledge of the importance of trees. The science about ‘why’ confirms that trees offer solutions for some of the most important challenges in communities – including mental health, social cohesion and crime, stormwater management, and climate change.


On a number of occasions I have been invited to speak to city councils or business associations, laying the benefits science groundwork. Local tree advocates follow my lead, rushing in to provide the details for effective tree planning, planting and management.


A central premise is that the many benefits and ecosystems services of trees are only possible if trees thrive. They must receive the care and management that will help them flourish. Tree science helps to promote healthy tree installation and growth, and to bring best practices to reducing threats such as pests and disease. If the ‘why’ is embraced, then there may be greater public commitment to support tree best practices and ongoing tree research. Donors who can envision the benefits that healthy trees and canopy generate for their workers, clients and communities may be more inclined to turn their philanthropy to tree science.

Look for Part 3: Trees and Health- A Bridging Opportunity" in the January edition of TREE Press.

... To 2023 and Beyond

Every end of year, we all take a look to next year and beginning anew. TREE Fund's End of Year Appeal continues as we look to 2023 and the many years to come. Every $1 we grant acts as seed money and attracts more than another $2.60 - making your gift impact above and beyond your generosity.

We ask for your support in ending the year 2022 to support 2023 and beyond.

Visit our donation page or scan our QR Code.

Other ways to support TREE Fund.

  1. Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice— TREE Fund, of course! Support TREE Fund by starting your shopping at
  2. When you make payments through PayPal, you can choose to donate to TREE Fund. PayPal does not charge a fee for the service, but does provide donation and donor reports, issue receipts, and make grants to TREE Fund every month. If you have a PayPal account, you can go here to make the TREE Fund your charity of choice.

TREE Fund's Volunteer of the Year

TREE Fund is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2022 Ken Ottman Volunteer Award for our Volunteer of the Year, Sam VanMaanen.

While there are countless people that help to make the Tour des Trees happen, Sam went above and beyond in helping to organize this year's ride in his home state, providing local knowledge and vital contacts that helped organizers produce a truly epic tour.

Not only that, but Sam provided his personal truck for use during the week long, pre-ride recon trip and even gifted us the use of his backyard for a relaxing afternoon after the first day of riding, complete with food, drinks, and great comradery.

Sam's love for the Tour des Trees, TREE Fund, and his home state were truly on display this summer and that energy and excitement spilled over to all the other riders during the week.

The Ken Ottman Volunteer Award is the highest public service award offered by TREE Fund and is named for the legendary Ken Ottman, an unparalleled champion for the work of TREE Fund and its predecessor organizations, the ISA's Research Trust and the National Arborist Foundation. The Ottman Award honors sustained, high-impact support for TREE Fund and its mission, and the TREE Fund Board of Trustees was pleased to award this honor to Sam.

Tour des Trees Registration Opens Next Month

We are looking forward to seeing you all at the 2023 Tour des Trees, which will start in Reno, Nevada, pass Lake Tahoe, and finish in northern California, where we will encounter their beautiful redwoods and giant sequoias. The distance will be 380+ miles.

Dates for 2023 are September 26 to October 2, so mark your calendars.

Be on the lookout for registration announcements, soon!

New Grant and Scholarship application cycle opens on January 15, 2023.

The following TREE Fund grants and scholarships will be available for application during our spring cycle. Please see our website for details on how to apply for these after our cycle starts on January 15. LOI's must be submitted and approved only during these application periods before applications can be submitted.


Utility Arborist Research Fund Grant

Supports work with real importance and benefit to utility tree care professionals.

Award amount: up to $50,000 (minimum $10,000)

Applications accepted Jan. 15 to March 1, 2023

Read more


Ohio Chapter ISA Education Grant

Funded by Ohio Chapter ISA to provide arboricultural education programs or projects within the State of Ohio which serve a target population of 16 years of age or older.

Award amount: $5,000

Applications accepted Jan. 15 to March 15, 2023

Read more


Robert Felix Memorial Scholarship

Supports college students studying arboriculture, urban forestry or related fields with the intention of entering arboriculture.

Award amount: $5,000

Applications accepted Jan. 15 to March 15 each year

Read more


Bonnie Appleton Memorial Scholarship

Supports college students studying arboriculture, urban forestry, horticulture, nursery management or a related field with the intention of becoming a professional in one of these fields.

Award amount: $5,000

Applications accepted Jan. 15 to March 15 each year

Read more


John Wright Memorial Scholarship

Supports high school seniors and returning college students pursuing careers related to arboriculture.

Award amount: $5,000

Applications accepted Jan. 15 to March 15 each year

Read more


Fran Ward Women in Arboriculture Scholarship

Supports female college students enrolled in a program related to the practice of arboriculture and urban forestry.

Award amount: $5,000

Applications accepted Jan. 15 to March 15 each year

Read more


Larry R. Hall Memorial Scholarship

Supports high school seniors or current returning college students seeking a first degree interested in entering the arboriculture industry.

Award amount: $5,000

Applications accepted Jan. 15 to March 15, 2023.

Read more



Nutter Memorial Scholarship

Supports the utility forestry and arboriculture industry by helping college students interested in those fields achieve high academic goals without accumulating burdensome debt. Up to $500 of the scholarship can be used for books and supplies.

Amount: $5,000

Applications accepted January 15 to March 15, 2023.

Read more                

Lead Donors

We are deeply grateful to the following people and organizations who contributed $2,500 or more to the TREE Fund in November 2022:

Florida Chapter ISA

Texas Chapter ISA

See the full list of lead donors who make our vital tree research and education work possible on our website.

TREE Fund essentials

If you've ever wanted to learn more about TREE Fund, you'll want to visit our website. It's a treasure chest of good information. Here are links to key documents:

Free Webinars

TREE Fund is proud to partner with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System to bring you free education offerings. We are now able to accommodate up to 3,000 participants! 

Our 2023 Webinar Series schedule will be finalized soon. Stay tuned for topics and dates!

TREE Fund’s 1-hour webinars are free and offer 1.0 CEU credit for live broadcasts from the International Society of Arboriculture and the Society of American Foresters. Registration information becomes available on our website approximately one month before each webinar date. 

Missed a webinar? Watch it anytime on our website.

CEU Credit for Recorded Webinar

TREE Fund now offers ISA CEU credits for one recorded webinar: "Loading of a Tie-in Point While Climbing." If you missed this webinar, you can now watch the recording and earn ISA CEU credits by completing a 20 question quiz with 80% accuracy. Learn more on our website.

TREE Fund Achieves

Highest Rating

For the third consecutive year, TREE Fund has reached Guidestar/Candid's highest level of achievement for nonprofit transparency--the platinum award. GuideStar is the world's largest and most authoritative source of information on nonprofit organizations. Major donors tend to look to GuideStar/Candid as the “seal of approval” before making donations.

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TREE Fund is a 501(C)3 nonprofit with a mission to explore and share the science of trees contributing to the lives of people, communities, economies, and the environment, and of the planning, planting, and sustainability of urban and community trees.