Silver Creek Nurseries, Inc. * P.O. Box 1988 * Manitowoc, WI 54221-1988
Phone: 920-684-1225 * Toll Free: 888-858-9927 (customers only)
FAX: 920-684-6267 *                                                              
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Riding for Tree Education and Research
By Jeff Edgar, Silver Creek Nurseries, Inc.
Published in the May/June 2014 edition of Green Side Up, the news letter for the

Wisconsin Green Industry Federation.


What do you mean you didn't think spring would come this year!  Look at all the signs out there; the calendar says so, the IRS says so, we're on Daylight Saving Time too.  Besides the “smaller” snow banks along the highway and migrating birds in the sky, another sign of spring is the increase in bicycle traffic on the roads.

 Yep, count me among these early season riders.  I've been putting on the miles to get in shape for the Stihl Tour des Trees, this summer.  I’ll be joining about 100 bike riders from around Wisconsin, the country and the world, to ride nearly 600 miles of some of the most beautiful roads in Wisconsin. 

Why would I want to do that?  Well, there are lots of reasons – 3,500 of them for starters.  The Stihl Tour des Trees is a fund raising bicycle tour, created to help raise money for the TREE (Tree Research and Education Endowment) Fund.  I've committed to raise a minimum of $3,500.00 for my portion of the Tour (tax deductible donations are appreciated).  22 years of Tours, hundreds of riders and their contributors, have put over $6 million into tree research and education programs.  Some of this research and education money has found its way to Wisconsin (including a generous grant to conduct research at Silver Creek Nurseries by UW Stevens Point, U of IL, U of FL, regarding wire baskets and tree root systems), both UW-Madison and UW-Stevens Point have received

numerous grants supporting tree related research, and many, many students have received scholarship funds.  The programs have benefited Wisconsin and our green industry businesses. 

Beyond the first 3,500 reasons, here’s a few more.  For a bit more than 40 years, the plant business has been my life.   This goes well beyond making a buck, everything I own and am I owe to trees and the people who make up the green industry.  Riding in the Tour gives me a chance to give something back and to help make this business a little easier for future generations.  Preparing for this ride is helping me recover from my December accident and is helping me to return to a healthier life style.  Plus, the Tour will be coming right through my back yard, so how can I not join them!

 Along the route, there will be several opportunities for the riders and support staff (including Professor Elwood Pricklethorn!) to entertain and educate the public about the importance of trees and tree care in the urban landscapes.  For those who can’t make it to these programs, we're betting that TV, radio and newspapers will carry the message.  I guarantee we won’t be peddling silently down the road. 

 The Tour leaves Milwaukee on July 27, campaigning for trees on the way to Madison.  On day two, we duck out of Madison, escaping to Wisconsin Dells.  Believe it or not, we'll point our bicycles north to Stevens Point, for our third day then tackle the miles to Green Bay on day four.  Day five takes us onto the “Illinois Freeway” for the shortest ride of the tour to Sturgeon Bay.  Lucky for us, we can coast down the coast, for 112 miles to Port Washington for number six.   On the seventh day, we will ease ourselves back to Milwaukee, for the opening of the International Society of Arboriculture Conference and a well deserved rest.

 How about joining us on the Tour too!  There is room for more enthusiasts to ride for the whole Tour or for even a day.  If you can’t ride a bike, how about being the “101st” rider and help with the daily support of the Tour, such as sponsoring a break or maybe pointing us in the right direction.  With most days of peddling 100 miles or more, your cheering will go a long way by helping to keep the wind to our backs and healthy trees in our landscapes!

For more information about the TREE Fund or the Stihl Tour des Trees, click on the logo at the top left side of the page. 

To contribute to Jeff Edgar's Stihl Tour des Trees fund raising effort, please click:

The Stihl Tour des Trees starts July 27.  Watch for a follow up article on this site!
There's still time to donate!  Get those pennies and dimes together and make a meaningful contribution to the TREE Fund.  If you do contribute, consider putting you donation into the Skiera Fund.