Aug. 30 2021 11:00 AM

Up to $10,000 is awarded to students pursuing forestry, plant sciences and related studies.

Arborjet, Woburn, Massachusetts, awarded its 2021 Taking Root Scholarships to this year’s recipients. Now in its eighth consecutive year, the program offers up to $10,000 in scholarship to students who plan to pursue full-time studies in forestry, plant sciences, horticulture, landscape architecture, entomology or a related major at an accredited two-or four-year college. This year, Arborjet will award scholarships to the following three students:

Alex Gerzberg from Closter, New Jersey, plans to major in landscape architecture with a minor in arboriculture at Penn State University Park. Gerzberg previously worked at a nursery learning about landscaping, horticulture and arboriculture. He also interned for Wickes Arborists in Spring Valley, New York.

“My goal of studying both disciplines is to use my knowledge in arboriculture to influence the designs and projects I will work on,” says Gerzberg. “By understanding how a plant will mature in the landscape, the design may include giving more room for the tree to grow or choosing a different species to better fill the space. An aspiration of mine prior to deciding to become a landscape architect is to become an ISA Certified Arborist.”

Brendan Lan, who resides in Ripon, California, will major in entomology at Cornell this fall. He attended UC Davis’s Bio Boot Camp 2.0, an entomology camp for high schoolers.

“I took it upon myself to gather as much experience as possible, across different aspects of entomology,” he says. “I participated in the Annual San Joaquin Butterfly Count and enjoyed it so much that I decided to do my own field work, collecting and identifying species.” From his work, he earned a spot as a research collections volunteer at California Academy of Sciences, where he was able to label his own specimens.

Sean Ward from Euclid, Ohio, will study plant sciences at Michigan State. “My interest in restoring and strengthening Cleveland’s green spaces goes past the gardens from my time as a forest ecology research assistant at the Holden Arboretum’s Reinberger Lab,” Ward says. “I worked alongside Dr. Kyker to investigate the role of mycorrhizal fungi in reforesting old farmland. From preparing samples of tissue with this fungi present to assaying these slides, I got my first exposure to the finer points of plant biology, the field I will be pursuing at Michigan State University. I am confident in my decision to continue learning and interacting with forests, gardens, and the role of community through a plant biology major.”

“We want parents, educators, counselors and the tree care community to join us in encouraging young students to transform their ingenuity and passion into a career in this important industry,” says Russ Davis, president and CEO, Arborjet. “Through this scholarship program, we recognize dedicated students whose philosophy aligns with our company’s mission to help save trees and preserve urban forests. This year’s winners have demonstrated achievement in their schools and want to lend their skills and talents to help grow our industry.”

Recipients for the scholarship program must be graduating U.S. high school seniors planning to major in forestry or a related major for the entire academic year at an accredited two-or four-year college or university.