Phil Graham is preparing for the Stihl Tour des Trees in Oregon.

Phil Graham is preparing for the Stihl Tour des Trees in Oregon.

Vernon arborist hits the road

Phil Graham plans to fundraise more than $3,500 to spend a week cycling 900 kilometers through Oregon in support of tree research.

Vernon’s own Phil Graham, a utility arborist, plans to fundraise more than $3,500 to spend a week cycling 900 kilometers through Oregon – all in support of tree research.

The Aug. 5 to 11 event is the Stihl Tour des Trees, and over the past 20 years, it has raised more than $5 million for Tree Research and Education Endowment Fund.

“The Stihl Tour des Trees started out as a bucket list item for me in 2003, but as soon as I rode that tour, I was hooked,” said Graham.

“This will be my eighth tour, and this year I welcome other riders to my backyard, the Pacific Northwest.”

Graham is well on his way to raising the $3,500 minimum donation required to take part in the ride, which helps to fund scientific research grants, education programs and scholarships administered by the TREE Fund.

To contribute to Graham’s fundraising activities, you can go to athttp://www.active.com/donate/teamcanada2012/pgcan2012.

The Stihl Tour des Trees offers cyclists and tree lovers an opportunity to experience a different part of the world from a bike each year, planting trees and raising awareness of the importance of tree research and proper care for urban trees.

Last year’s tour travelled from Virginia Beach, Va., to Washington, D.C., planted more than 45 new trees and raised more than $500,000.

“The cyclists of the Stihl Tour des Trees are the lifeblood of the TREE Fund,” said Janet Bornancin, foundation president.

“Not only do they  raise the funds necessary to ensure that tree research continues, they devote a week to cycling across the country, carrying the message of science-based tree care to the communities whose trees will benefit from their efforts.”