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You are here: Home / Urban Forest Connections Webinar / More Than Good Looks: How trees influence urban stormwater management in green infrastructure practices

More Than Good Looks: How trees influence urban stormwater management in green infrastructure practices

Trees planted in a bioretention site
Andrew Tirpak

More Than Good Looks: How trees influence urban stormwater management in green infrastructure practices
May 8, 2019

Andrew Tirpak, University of Tennessee
Lyn Rutherford, City of Chattanooga, TN

While green stormwater infrastructure increases in popularity, we are still learning about the role of trees in these innovative practices. In this webinar, Andrew Tirpak will discuss recent research results from studies designed to characterize the health of trees in bioretention practices and the benefits they provide to urban stormwater management. Lyn Rutherfordwill share observations from managing bioretention and detention ponds, noting how design, installation, and maintenance practices affect tree health and water quality function. This information can help stormwater engineers, urban foresters, and landscape professionals be successful in integrating trees into stormwater management efforts.

This research was made possible in part by funding from the USDA Forest Service National Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Cost-Share Grant program. The National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (NUCFAC) sets the categories for this grant program based on the Ten-Year Urban Forestry Action Plan and recommends to the Forest Service innovative urban and community forestry research and projects that should be considered for funding.

View the webinar podcast »


More Than Good Looks: How trees influence urban stormwater management in green infrastructure practices
Andrew Tirpak
Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Tennessee

A Field and Maintenance Perspective from Chattanooga
Lyn Rutherford
Sustainable Landscaper, Water Quality Program
City of Chattanooga, TN


Resources Mentioned in the Webinar

The Health of Trees in Bioretention: A survey and analysis of influential variables
This article from the Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment characterizes tree health in bioretention practices across the southeastern U.S. and the environmental and design parameters that are most influential to tree health.

Evaluating the Influence of Design Strategies and Meteorological Factors on Tree Transpiration in Bioretention Suspended Pavement Practices
Published in Ecohydrology, this article investigates the influence of meteorological conditions and design strategies on transpiration rates using sap flow sensors installed in trees planted in bioretention suspended pavement practices.

Trees in Bioretention
This paper from the Center for Watershed Protection summarizes the benefits and potential conflicts with trees in one specific type of stormwater management practice: bioretention.

Ecological Landscape Alliance
The Ecological Landscape Alliance website provides a variety of resources related to environmentally responsible stewardship of land and natural resources in landscaping and horticultural practices.

US Forest Service Resources

Trees & Stormwater
Developed in partnership with the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments and other partners, this interactive guide informs local decision makers of options and best practices for including trees in stormwater facility design regulations and policies. It includes case studies, methods, benefit calculators, and guidance on how adding trees can boost overall system performance, often at lower costs. Check out this video to help you navigate the website.

Making Urban Trees Count
This website provides downloads of products related to two urban tree planting credits developed by the Center for Watershed Protection with funding from the U.S. Forest Service.

Give Me the Numbers: How trees and urban forests really affect stormwater runoff
This Urban Forest Connections webinar provides information that 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.