Day 1 on the 2015 STIHL Tour des Trees with Jeff Palmer


Sunday marked the first day of the 2015 Tour des Trees, a ride to raise money for urban tree research. As many as 85 riders assembled in Orlando, Florida to set out on a 560 mile journey across the Sunshine State. Here’s an update from Jeff Palmer, Arborjet’s Upper Midwest Regional Technical Manager and rider on this year’s TdT.

Today’s Goal- 110 miles to Ruskin


We began from the Hilton Lake Buena Vista and wound our way through Disney only to be greeted with the open road toward the Gulf Coast. The day started overcast but the sun broke through about 11 am to make for a hot and humid day. Everyone stayed hydrated and we all arrived safely.

Live Oaks and Lunch in Lakeland


Lunch was at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, where we were fortunate to see one of the prettiest campuses in the country shaded by stately live oaks. Huge live oaks dotted much of the landscape on the ride. Live Oak is one of the most important tree species in the state and we were happy to rest under their shade.

Dinner with Keynote Speaker Dr. Ed Gilman

Once we arrived in Ruskin we were fortunate to enjoy a nice outdoor dinner at the beach along with a keynote talk by Dr. Ed Gilman who studies ways to improve urban tree planting and maintenance practices. Dr. Gilman has received grants from the TREE Fund which have helped him study wind loading effects on trees.

So far the Tour des Trees has raised nearly $600,000 for the TREE Fund in 2015. This is a very committed group who is anxious to get back on their bikes Monday to fulfill their commitment towards urban tree research.

Would YOU Like To Donate?

You can donate directly by mailing a check, payable to TREE Fund at 552 S. Washington St., Ste. 109, Naperville, IL 60540. Please specify if your contribution is to be applied to a specific rider or team.

We hope that you follow us on the tour all week long!