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You are here: Home / Urban Forest Connections Webinar / Give Me the Numbers: How trees and urban forests really affect stormwater runoff

Give Me the Numbers: How trees and urban forests really affect stormwater runoff

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Give Me the Numbers: How trees and urban forests really affect stormwater runoff
February 8, 2017

Eric Kuehler, USDA Forest Service
Aarin Teague, San Antonio River Authority

In order for managers to make the case for trees and green infrastructure as a part of stormwater management, they must be able to quantify the benefits of such interventions. Current research can aid managers in estimating tree function as a part of a green stormwater infrastructure treatment train. In this webinar, Eric Kuehler will review the most current research regarding the volume of rainfall that tree canopy is able to retain, the increased lag time between rainfall initiation and peak runoff due to canopy cover, reducing runoff velocity, and water volume removed from the soil through transpiration. Aarin Teague will share how Stormwater Design Engineers and Managers can use this research to better quantify the role that the urban forest can play in their overall stormwater management strategy and will discuss one method for estimating tree function and equating to BMP design capacity. This information can help municipal natural resource managers more effectively work across disciplines to ensure the urban forest is a part of the solution for mitigating stormwater runoff and managing hydrologic function in their communities.

Presentations

View the webinar podcast

Give Me the Numbers: How trees and urban forests really affect stormwater runoff (PDF)
Eric Kuehler
Science Delivery/Technology Specialist
USDA Forest Service

Give Me the Numbers: How trees and urban forests really affect stormwater runoff (PDF)
Aarin Teague
Senior Engineer, Watershed Engineering
San Antonio River Authority

Q&A (PDF)

Resources

Resources Mentioned in the Webinar

Give Me the Numbers
Aarin Teague and Eric Kuehler’s article in Stormwater discusses the stormwater runoff reduction function of trees, as well as a method for estimating tree function and equating to BMP design capacity.

Quantifying the Benefits of Urban Forest Systems as a Component of the Green Infrastructure Stormwater Treatment Network
This Ecohydrology article, co-authored by Eric Kuehler, presents a basis for providing credits for trees in stormwater designs.

Stormwater to Street Trees
This guide from the EPA provides an introduction to the role of trees in a stormwater management system, including street tree design tips.

US Forest Service Resources

Urban Watershed Forestry Manual Part 2. Conserving and Planting Trees at Development Sites
Developed in cooperation with the Center for Watershed Protection, this manual presents specific ways to enable developers, engineers, or landscape architects to incorporate more trees into a development site and provides guidance for incorporating trees in stormwater BMPs. Also available: Part 1. Methods for Increasing Forest Cover in a Watershed and Part 3. Urban Tree Planting Guide.

i-Tree Hydro
From the i-Tree suite of tools, i-Tree Hydro simulates the effects of changes in urban tree cover and impervious surfaces on the hydrological cycle, including streamflow and water quality, for watershed and non-watershed areas.