The STIHL Tour des Trees, America’s largest fundraiser for tree research, kicked off its 20thAnniversary Tour this weekend in Portland, Ore., with more than 100 cyclists from across the U.S. and Canada.
In 1992 a group of tree care professionals began the very first Tour, cycling from Seattle, Wash., to Oakland, Calif., and raising more than $89,000 for tree research. Since then, what has now become the STIHL Tour des Trees has cycled more than 10,000 miles and raised nearly $5.5 million dollars for the Tree Research and Education Endowment Fund (TREE Fund).
This year, cyclists tackled a 585-mile loop from Aug. 5-11 through Oregon, including the Pacific coast, the Columbia River Gorge, vineyards, high desert and Mt. Hood for a week of tree plantings, educational programs, community engagement and fun.
“The STIHL Tour des Trees is an engine for innovation in the arboriculture industry,” said TREE Fund president and CEO Janet Bornancin. “As the challenges faced by the trees in our communities evolve, the knowledge arborists use to care for these trees must keep pace. Tree care professionals count on research to help them work smarter, safer and more efficiently in the urban forest.” Recent research projects supported by funding from the TREE Fund have yielded better methods for:
- Quantifying the benefits of trees to the economy and environment to make it easier for governments and businesses to determine the return they’ll get on their tree care investment. Studies have focused on real estate values, air pollution reduction and the urban heat island effect, to name a few.
- Studying ways to control diseases and pests which has made it possible to minimize the damage caused by bark beetles and invasive ‘exotic’ pests, such as the emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle.
- Improving the survivability of new tree selections for urban sites through the development of hardier, drought and disease-resistant species.
- Reducing pesticide and mechanical interventions by proving the value of integrated pest management, which takes advantage of the tree’s natural characteristics and surroundings to fight pests and diseases.
Source: www.prnewswire.com; August 7, 2012.