2011 STIHL Tour des Trees Raises More Than $460,000 For TREE Fund


More than $5 million raised through America’s Largest Fundraiser for Trees
Release Date: 10/17/2011

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STIHL Tour des Trees (photo credit: Alvin Gilens)

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Virginia Beach, Va.– Sixty-five cyclists from across North America took to Virginia’s scenic byways last week for the 2011 STIHL Tour des Trees to benefit the TREE Fund, America’s largest fundraiser for tree research. This year’s Tour has already raised more than $460,000 for the Tree Research and Education Endowment (TREE) Fund, and the event’s legacy includes 45 new trees in <st1:state w:st="on">Virginia and <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Washington, <st1:state w:st="on">D.C., planted during the Tour’s outreach and education programs.

 

The weeklong cycling event kicked off at the Virginia Aquarium and <st1:placename w:st="on">Marine<st1:placename w:st="on">Science<st1:placetype w:st="on">Center in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Virginia Beach, <st1:state w:st="on">Va., on Oct. 2. The cyclists continued on to <st1:city w:st="on">Williamsburg, <st1:city w:st="on">Richmond, <st1:city w:st="on">Charlottesville, Front Royal, and Reston, finishing their journey in <st1:city w:st="on">Washington, <st1:state w:st="on">D.C., on Oct. 8 with a finale concert celebration at <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on">American<st1:placetype w:st="on">University with Rolling Stones keyboardist and conservationist Chuck Leavell. Highlights of the 2011 STIHL Tour des Trees included tree plantings in Colonial Williamsburg, Monticello and the state Capitol grounds in <st1:city w:st="on">Richmond and 65 miles of spectacular cycling along the <st1:place w:st="on">Blue Ridge Mountains. The Tour also stopped at <st1:placename w:st="on">Columbia<st1:placetype w:st="on">Elementary School in <st1:city w:st="on">Palmyra, where the entire school turned out to help plant a new tree and learn about how trees grow from the Tour’s youth education specialist, “Professor Elwood Pricklethorn” (aka Warren Hoselton, veteran Tour rider and arborist from <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Toronto, <st1:country-region w:st="on">Canada</st1:country-region>.)

“I am continually inspired by the dedication of the cyclists of the STIHL Tour des Trees,” said Janet Bornancin, executive director of the TREE Fund. “We’re fortunate to have a corps of cyclists who return to ride the Tour each year, and this year we welcomed 19 first-time riders to our ranks. They conquered some incredible hills this week, and raised a record-breaking amount of money for tree research despite a difficult economy. The STIHL Tour des Trees is the lifeblood of the TREE Fund, and the money raised each year funds the research that sustains our urban forests.”

Donations can still be made to the TREE Fund through the STIHL Tour des Trees website, www.stihltourdestrees.org, and photos from each of the events are available on the media page.

Since the Tour began in 1992, more than 970 riders have helped generate more than $5 million for tree research and education programs which have helped fund a host of different projects that have addressed disease and pest management, urban planting challenges, tree biomechanics and workforce safety.

“The TREE Fund supports research that is vital to trees and those who care for them,” said Anita Gambill of STIHL Inc., a leading manufacturer of outdoor power equipment which has sponsored the Tour for 11 years. “We are pleased to work with these tree care professionals and give back to our community by supporting the research that helps ensure healthy trees for future generations.”

Sponsors of the 2011 STIHL Tour des Trees included STIHL Inc.; Bartlett Tree Experts; Asplundh Tree Experts; Dominion; KASK Helmets; The Davey Tree Expert Company; Arizona Public Service; Mid-Atlantic STIHL; National Grid;PG&E; PacifiCorp; Arborwell; Casey Trees; Ford Motor Co.; Lewis Tree Service; the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA); NGK Spark Plugs; West Coast Arborists Inc.; Lebanon Turf; Tech Tree Experts Inc.; Trees, Inc.; Valley Crest; Vermeer; Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center; and Wright Tree Service.

About STIHL Inc.:
STIHL Inc. manufactures the number one selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment in America for homeowners and professional landscapers*, 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 mass merchants. STIHL products sold through U.S. STIHL dealers are for distribution in the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">United States</st1:country-region> only. For more information or for the name of a local STIHL retailer, call toll free 1-800-GO STIHL (1-800-467-8445) or visit the STIHL dealer locator on the STIHL website at www.stihlusa.com.
 
*"Number one selling brand" is based on syndicated Irwin Broh Research (commercial landscapers) as well as independent consumer research of 2010 U.S. sales and market share data for the gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment category combined sales to consumers and commercial landscapers.

STIHL is pleased to support the work of Independent We Stand , the Tree Research and Education Endowment Fund (TREE Fund) , International Society of Arboriculture (ISA ), the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) , National FFA , Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) , the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) , National Hispanic Landscape Alliance and the National Association of State Park Directors .

About the TREE Fund:

The TREE Fund’s mission is to identify and fund projects and programs that advance knowledge in the field of arboriculture and urban forestry to benefit people, trees, and the environment.

The TREE Fund has supported research that has led to important developments in:

• 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

• Strategies to manage diseases and pests that affect urban trees

For more information, visit www.treefund.org.