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.

1 comment:

  1. Local governments have very different policies relating to tree protection/preservation for stormwater and other benefits. Some policies are stronger and others are very weak. Metro commissioned Portland Audubon to detail and compare different local policies in the Portland-area compare. It is a very useful resource online at: