Water Quality & Stormwater

Trees provide the valuable services of reducing stormwater runoff and improving water quality. Strategic implementation of trees into community planning can make a world of difference in how communities are able to cope after a storm and protect water quality. Read up on these resources to see how your community can protect itself with the use of trees.

Forests, Trees, and Water discusses urban watershed forestry.

Trees and Stormwater discusses stormwater runoff and how trees protect water quality.

Main Streets to Green Streets discusses the importance of trees in downtowns for practical, aesthetic, and economic reasons.

Soil Volume discusses how to increase soil volume in hard to grow places to grow big trees.

Trees and Structural Soils Manual discusses managing stormwater for urban sustainability through the use of trees and structural soils.

Stormwater Managment: Benefits of Trees summarizes recent work describing and quantifying the stormwater management benefits of trees, especially at the individual tree and property/site scale.

Tree Credit Systems and Incentives at the Site Scale discusses preserving and planting trees for stormwater management through the use of “tree credits” and other incentives at the state and local government levels across the United States.

Tree Credit Systems and Incentives at the Watershed Scale discusses tree canopy, or forest cover as an important measure and determinant of watershed health.

Urban Forestry Watershed Manuals are a three-part series on using trees to protect and restore urban watersheds. 

Part 1: Methods for Increasing Forest Cover in a Watershed

Part 2: Conserving and Planting Trees at Development Sites

Part 3: Urban Tree Planting Guide

Visit the Green Infrastructure page for more on employing or mimicing natural systems to manage stormwater.