Richard W. Harris Urban Horticulture Scholarship

Celebrating 10 years with the Richard W. Harris Urban
Horticulture Scholarship program and UC Davis

In 2013, The Britton Fund established the Richard W. Harris Urban Horticulture Scholarship program at the University of California, Davis. Ten years later, the lives of 23 students majoring in Environmental Horticulture and Urban Forestry have been forever changed by the scholarships awarded.

Student Scholar Recipients

Make your donation today to support student scholars in the future.

The Britton Fund established an endowed student scholarship program in 2013 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.

Congratulations! to Jade Abreu, our 2022-2023 scholarship recipient from the Department of Environmental Horticulture and Urban Forestry, UC Davis.  Jade’s hometown is Novato, CA.

What are your goals for the future after you graduate? Where do you see yourself working in five years?

I would love to be working in California’s national parks, or just natural ecosystems, restoring habitats to their native conditions. I want to remove invasive plant species, restore lands affected by wildfires, and educate the general public about planting native plants in their gardens. I also love agricultural gardening and small-scale farming, and would love to have an opportunity to learn how to preserve food, and use the resources around me in holistic ways.

How has this scholarship had an impact on you?

This scholarship has had a tremendous impact on my financial support in my first year at UC Davis. I have been able to afford not having a job my first quarter because my tuition is almost entirely paid for, and its not something I have to stress about. I’m incredibly grateful to have this extra money, as I’ve worked for 5 years consecutively with sometimes multiple jobs at a time, right up until I moved to Davis. I’m paying for college entirely by myself, with virtually no assistance from my parents or relatives. This scholarship has such a positive impact on my education.

Read more about Jade’s story in The Britton Fund’s 2022 Annual Impact Report.

“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

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

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.

“Plants, particularly trees, are an important part of our lives – around homes, schools, shopping centers, and places of work, along street and highways, in the central city, parks, and other landscaped areas. Trees have been held in high esteem since earliest times.”   Dr. Richard W. Harris