Friday, July 31, 2009

Fight The Heat - Plant A Tree

Last week Abby Haight reported in the Oregonian newspaper that trees provide "oases of cool" in our urban landscape. Thought we need them in a heat wave, a heat wave is probably the worst time to plant a tree. Cooler weather, rainfall, and dormancy are contributing factors in tree survival.

This fall and winter you can get involved in providing some cooling relief for future heat waves by planting a tree in your yard with the help of Friends of Trees. Friends of Trees will advise you on an appropriate tree for your site, sell you the tree for $25 - $75, and get you involved with their volunteer work crew to plant your trees and others. You can sign up online at Friends of Trees.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Trees for Stormwater Management

There are numerous environmental and storm water benefits to trees in urban settings. These include the capture of carbon dioxide by trees, shading, and habitat for wildlife. Urban forests can also act as natural storm water management areas by filtering particulate matter (pollutants, some nutrients, and sediment), by absorption of water and by facilitating evapotranspiration to reduce runoff. Evergreen trees generally have greater stormwater benefits than deciduous trees in our climate where the majority of rainfall is in the winter. Trees also reduces noise levels, provides recreational benefits, and increases property values.

Trees in urban settings are known to have numerous environmental benefits, including pollutant removal. Trees can absorb water, pollutant gases, airborne particulates, sediment, nitrogen, phosphorous, and pesticides.

There are numerous economic benefits to urban forests, including proven increases in property values. In addition, by preserving trees and forests, clearing and grading as well as erosion and sediment costs may be saved during construction. Maintenance costs are also minimized by keeping areas as natural as possible.