America's Largest Fundraiser for Tree Research Secures STIHL as Two-Time Title Sponsor

2010 STIHL Tour des Trees to kick off in Chicago

Jan 11, 2010, 11:51 ET from STIHL

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- STIHL Inc., a leading manufacturer of handheld outdoor power equipment, has renewed its title sponsorship for the STIHL Tour des Trees to benefit the TREE Fund. This weeklong cycling event has become America's largest fundraiser to improve the care of trees through research and education.

The 2009 STIHL Tour des Trees raised nearly a half million dollars to benefit the Tree Research and Education Endowment (TREE) Fund. Since its inception in 1992, the Tour des Trees has generated more than $4.4 million and has funded a variety of research around the world, such as new disease control methods that could reduce pesticide usage, new technology to increase post-planting survival in urban trees, and improved safety methods for arborists and other tree care professionals.

"As the first-ever title sponsor of the Tour des Trees in 2009, STIHL was instrumental in bringing the Tour's message of responsible environmental stewardship to a wider national audience, and we're so pleased to welcome them back this year," said Janet Bornancin, executive director of the TREE Fund.

"People sometimes wonder why a manufacturer of chain saws would sponsor an event for the TREE Fund, but tree care professionals use those saws every day to maintain overall tree health, remove unsafe branches, and actually save some trees that would otherwise die from disease," Bornancin continued.

"We've been proud to partner with the TREE Fund for ten years to promote the health of urban trees," said Roger Phelps, promotional communications manager for STIHL Inc. "Our goal is to care for the environment in all that we do, whether through the manufacture and design of our product, or by supporting the work of organizations like the TREE Fund that make a difference in our environment and quality of life."

The 2010 STIHL Tour des Trees will launch from Chicago's magnificent Millennium Park on July 18 and travel westward to the Mississippi River and Iowa before looping back to the world famous Morton Arboretum in Chicago's western suburbs on July 24. The riders will make a grand entrance during the International Tree Climbing Championship and International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Arbor Fair being held there. The 2009 Tour began from New York City's Central Park and cycled 500 miles through New England on its way to Providence, RI.

"The support of STIHL means that vital research and public awareness for arboriculture and tree health continue to thrive," said Jim Skiera, executive director of the ISA. "Much of the work we do would not be possible without industry support such as theirs."

More information on the STIHL Tour des Trees, including information on sponsorship, rider registration or donating to the TREE Fund, is available at

About STIHL Inc.

STIHL Inc. manufactures the world's largest selling brand of chain saws and produces a full line of powerful, lightweight, and versatile handheld outdoor power equipment for homeowners and professional users. 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 United States only. For more information or for the name of the closest STIHL retailer call toll free 1-800-GO STIHL (1-800-467-8445) or visit the STIHL Web site at

STIHL is pleased to also support the work of the Tropical Forest Foundation, the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), National FFA, Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), the American Tree Farm System (ATFS), and the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD).

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