Richard W. Harris Urban Horticulture Scholarship

In 2013, The Britton Fund established an endowed student scholarship program with a generous gift of $25,000 to the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis. This scholarship is named in honor of the late Professor Richard W. Harris, a prominent leader in the science and practice of arboriculture who taught at UC Davis for well over 30 years.

The scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students who major in Environmental Horticulture and Urban Forestry. Recipients are invited to events hosted by the WCISA and The Britton Fund to meet and interact with tree care professionals throughout the west. The Britton Fund is proud to make an annual donation to the program, matched by the WCISA, to ensure its growth and success.

For more information about the Richard W. Harris Urban Horticulture Scholarship, its application process and awarding timeline, please contact UC Davis directly. 

“We are so proud to encourage student scholars through the Richard W. Harris Urban Horticulture Scholarship Program. By making a donation to The Britton Fund you support important science-based research and educational opportunities for tree care professionals working in the field and in the classroom.”

Doug Anderson, President, The Britton Fund

Congratulations to the 2021-2022 scholarship recipients from the Department of Environmental Horticulture and Urban Forestry, UC Davis.

  • Emily Carranza,
  • Charlie Feliz
  • Sharon Huang
  • Xinyi Ji
  • Alexis Luna
  • Ambur Simmons
  • Taylor Synstelien
  • Joseph Urias
  • James Woodruff

About Dr. Richard W. Harris

Arborists from around the world remember Dr. Richard W. Harris as a distinguished faculty member at the University of California, Davis where he worked in the Environmental Horticulture Department from 1950 – 1986 and was awarded the honor of Emeritus Professor. 

Dr. Harris was dedicated to promoting the professional practice of arboriculture and fostering a greater worldwide awareness of the benefits of trees. He served as president of the WCISA in 1969 and in the prestigious role of president for the International Society of Arboriculture in 1984. He provided leadership as the director of the Parks and Recreation Administrators Institute from 1960-84. And he was the author of Arboriculture – The Integrated Management of Landscape Trees, Shrubs and Vines, first published in 1983 and now in its 4th edition. Dr. Harris was one of the founders of the California Tree Failure Report Program.

In a time when most arborists focused on pruning for aesthetic reasons, Dr. Harris expanded on his early training and research in pomology to teach students how to prune young trees to enhance structure. Working with UC Davis engineers, he tackled the problem of staking and trunk development, demonstrating that placing the stake next to the trunk causes the trunk to grow away from the stake. Representing the International Society of Arboriculture, Dick served on the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers and was a contributing author to the 8th edition of the Guide for Plant Appraisal, and CTLA Chair for the 9th edition.

Well recognized for establishing educational and industry standards in the tree care profession, Dr. Harris was also known as devoted husband and father as well as a patient mentor to students and arborists. To call him a gentleman would not do him justice. He had a respectful, thoughtful manner that complimented his knowledge and curiosity.