Cyclists Ride 610 Miles to Save America’s Urban Forests

Cyclists Ride 600 Miles to Save America’s Urban Forests

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Everyone appreciates the beauty of trees, but they also provide many of life’s vital essentials such as oxygen, food and shelter. And thanks to grants from the TREE Fund, researchers and organizations are working to provide communities and tree care professionals with resources and strategies to better propagate, plant and care for our urban canopies. This month, nearly 100 cyclists and tree enthusiasts will pedal through the Carolinas from Oct.9-15 to raise awareness and hundreds of thousands of dollars as a part of the 24th annual STIHL Tour des Trees, a weeklong cycling fundraiser to benefit the TREE Fund.

“The STIHL Tour des Trees is unquestionably our most important, high-impact community engagement event,” says TREE Fund President and CEO J. Eric Smith. “We literally take our show on the road for a full week in a different part of the country each year, providing national exposure to the importance of tree research and education to a healthy urban canopy. We meet with community advocates, schoolchildren, media outlets, tree workers, homeowners, municipal leaders and just regular folks along the road, and our volunteers’ knowledge and enthusiasm is truly infectious. It’s also extraordinary how hard our riders work to generate funds for research, and how generous our corporate partners are in defraying our operating expenses, so that 100% of the funds raised by our volunteers go straight to research.”

With the help of the STIHL Tour des Trees, TREE Fund has helped fund research grants totaling nearly $3 million since 2002. Recent projects and studies supported by the TREE Fund have focused on:

TREE Fund not only assists with critical tree research, but it also helps fund education programs aimed at connecting young people with the environment and career opportunities in the green industries. Some of the recent TREE Fund education grant recipients are:

The STIHL Tour des Trees, North America’s largest fundraiser for tree research already raised more than $200,000 this year and plans on exceeding the $300,000 mark. Tour participants come from all walks of life, but cycle for a common goal – to promote the importance of continued research to support science-based tree care.

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2016 TREE Fund Corporate Partners include: STIHL Inc.; Bartlett Tree Experts;Berkshire Hathaway Energy Foundation; The Davey Tree Expert Company; International Society of Arboriculture; ACRT; Arborjet;Asplundh Tree Expert Co.; ISA Southern Chapter;Tree Care Industry Association;Arbor Age; KASK;Tree Services Magazine; ISA Texas;National Grid; PacifiCorp; Trees, Inc.;West Coast Arborists Inc.; Wheel & Sprocket;Bandit Industries, Inc.; Bayer CropScience LP;CN Utility Consulting; Duke Energy;Ford Motor Company; Heartwood Tree Service;Lewis Tree Service;Michael Grimm Landscape & Tree Service; Mid-Atlantic STIHL;Ohio Chapter ISA; Pacific Gas & Electric Company;Quantum Spatial; SavATree;SherrillTree; Unitil;Utility Arborist Association; Vermeer;Workshop Creative Group; Wright Tree Service, Inc.;Carolina Tree Care; City of Camden; Gamma Tree Experts; Lentzcaping; Norscot

About TREE Fund

The TREE Fund is an 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to the discovery and international dissemination of new knowledge in urban forestry and arboriculture (the science of caring for trees in a landscape). The TREE Fund manages a portfolio of scholarships and education grants to engage and support the next generation of tree stewards, and multiple research grants to improve the science, safety and practice of arboriculture.

With support from individual donors and Corporate Partners, TREE Fund research has contributed to:

  • Improving utility line clearing practices
  • Understanding air pollution reduction and carbon sequestration by trees
  • Determining the costs and benefits of urban trees
  • Improving conditions for tree growth in difficult sites
  • Developing strategies to manage diseases and pests that affect urban trees

For more information, visit

About STIHL Inc.

STIHL Inc. manufactures the number one selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment in America,* as well as the number one selling brand of chain saws in the world. STIHL products are sold through servicing power equipment retailers from coast to coast – not big box stores. Located in Virginia Beach, Va., STIHL Inc., the headquarters for U.S. operations for the worldwide STIHL Group, exports to over 90 countries around the world; and the majority of STIHL products sold in America are also built in America.* STIHL products sold through U.S. STIHL dealers are for distribution in the United States only. For more information or for the name of a local STIHL retailer, call toll free 1-800-GO STIHL (1-800-467-8445), visit or text your zip code to 78445.

*A majority of STIHL powerheads are built in the United States from domestic and foreign parts and components. “Number one selling brand” is based on syndicated Irwin Broh Research as well as independent consumer research of 2009-2015 U.S. sales and market share data for the gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment category combined sales to consumers and commercial landscapers.

For information on job opportunities with STIHL Inc., please go to STIHL is an EEO and drug-free work environment.

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