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TREE Fund: Research Fellowship Grant

Tree Fund

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Grant amount: US $100,000

Deadline: The deadline for this grant has passed

Applicant type: Faculty

Funding uses: Research, Fellowship

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world



Tree Research and Education Endowment Fund (TREE Fund) funds research, scholarships and education programs essential to the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge in the fields of arboriculture and urban forestry.

TREE Fund Research Fellowships are multi-year grants, designed to empower transformative arboriculture research by emerging scholars, in support of TREE Fund’s research priorities. Research Fellowships may span three to five years with a maximum total grant award of $100,000. 

The theme of “Urban Forest Sustainability” is the current guiding priority for the Research Fellowship grant program. Within this broad theme, successful grant proposals will focus on such urban forest sustainability issues as:

  • Nursery production practices that enhance survival, structural soundness and post-installation performance;
  • Young tree care (e.g. structural pruning, root care, etc.) to enhance longevity;
  • Soil biology and soil amelioration;
  • Sustainable pest and disease management alternatives;
  • Species diversity to mitigate loss and enhance benefits of urban forests; or
  • Mitigating tree damage and loss following construction.

While rigorous, actionable research findings are the primary desired outcome of this program, Research Fellowships are also purposefully designed to empower the academic arboriculture community for years to come — by investing in the careers of pre-tenured professors and scientists in meaningful ways that support their own professional development, even as they expand the knowledge base in their respective fields.

Tree Fund Research Priorities

TREE Fund’s current research priorities include the following areas of professional interest; proposals outside of these core areas must clearly and explicitly identify why TREE Fund consideration of the requested scopes of work is warranted:

Root and soil management: Many urban tree problems originate below ground. Promoting root development, protecting roots from injury, managing conflicts with infrastructure, improving existing soil, and/or use of other media for root growth are issues that arborists encounter regularly.

Tree planting and establishment: Methods of ensuring survival and vigorous growth of trees after planting are of concern to arborists and the entire green industry. Arborists are increasingly dealing with problems that originate in or could be avoided during the planting process.

Plant health care: Healthy plants have more effective defense systems, are better able to resist pests, and often require less life-time investment of resources for successful performance in the field. Improved understanding of natural and anthropogenic factors that impact plant health is most likely to lead to new pest/pathogen management strategies for use in the field.

Risk assessment and worker safety: Safety is a major concern to practicing arborists, especially as incomplete knowledge of potential hazards can be a life-or-death issue for both tree workers and the public they serve. Detection and prevention of structural degradation of trees via decay and other factors are especially important. However, practitioners face additional challenges when working in sites with live utility wires and whenever their work requires leaving the ground to attend to problem areas. Thus, research leading to improved equipment and work practices is also a high priority.

Urban and community forest management: Trees offer significant economic and health benefits to their home communities, and maximizing these benefits requires an improved understanding of how urban forest ecosystems function, how they should be managed, and how they interact with people in communities and at the urban/rural interface.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • In the ideal funding scenario, the Principal Investigator for a proposed project would be an early career, pre-tenure assistant or tenured associate rank professor, supervising a PhD student.
    • Applicants at the assistant professor/pre-tenure level are strongly encouraged to partner with a tenured professor as Co-Principal Investigator


  • Recipients may not receive more than one Research Fellowship.