Trees intercept rainfall and help increase infiltration and the ability of soil to store water. By retaining water in their canopy – even for a short time – trees can disperse precipitation over a longer time period and reduce velocity of the water when it does fall. Depending on species, some trees can absorb water through their leaves and transpire it directly to the atmosphere; all trees absorb water through their root structure. Depending on species, some trees can remove pollutants (through a process called phytoremediation) and thus contribute to groundwater recharge. View an excellent overview of the “why” and “how” of trees in urban stormwater management. To learn more about the specific contributions different trees in different sites can improve stormwater management, check out this current, comprehensive review of multiple research studies.
Explore how trees manage stormwater.
That’s not all. Trees will deliver many other benefits to your community.
As you’ve seen, trees help manage stormwater – but there’s much more to be gained from tree planting. Lower energy costs, reduced heat islands, vibrant business districts, improved public health – are all benefits that can address other challenges facing your community.