Water Quality & Stormwater

Trees provide the valuable services of reducing rate and volume of 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.

Urban Forest Systems and Green Stormwater Infrastructure was released by the US Forest Service in 2020 as a resource manual for natural resource professionals to help them communicate with stormwater managers and engineering professionals about the science and benefits of urban trees in stormwater management.

Forests, Trees, & Water is an overview of urban watershed forestry.

Trees and Stormwater provides information on stormwater runoff and how trees protect water quality.

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

Our Soil & Roots resource page provides resources for how to increase soil volume in hard to grow places to grow big trees.

Trees and Structural Soils Manual is a robust guide for 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 is a white paper that presents 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 our Green Infrastructure page for more on employing or mimicking natural systems to manage stormwater.