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Quantifying Rainfall Interception in the Urban Canopy

Three people examine equipment at the base of a tree behind a sign indicating the Tree Rainfall Capture Study site.
University of Tennessee

Quantifying Rainfall Interception in the Urban Canopy
August 14, 2019

Jon Hathaway, University of Tennessee

Urban stormwater is a major contributor to surface water degradation in the United States, prompting cities to invest in green infrastructure - methods that naturally capture, store, and slowly release runoff, such as urban trees. While rainfall interception for full canopy environments is well studied, limited research is available that characterizes the interception of open-grown trees, which are commonly found in urban areas. In this webinar, Jon Hathaway will share preliminary results of his research that studies the effect of rainfall event duration, intensity, and seasonal variations on the interception potential of urban trees in Knoxville, TN.


View the webinar podcast »

Rainfall Interception of Urban Trees in the Knoxville Area
Jon Hathaway
Assistant Professor
University of Tennessee


Resources Mentioned in the Webinar

Quantifying the Benefits of Urban Forest Systems as a Component of the Green Infrastructure Stormwater Treatment Network
This article, published in Ecohydrology, highlights existing research, documents areas of need for quantifying the benefits of urban trees for stormwater management, and provides a basis for providing credits for trees in stormwater designs.

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.

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.

More Than Good Looks: How trees influence urban stormwater management in green infrastructure practices
This Urban Forest Connections webinar presents recent research results from studies designed to characterize the health of trees in bioretention practices and shares observations from managing bioretention and detention ponds, noting how design, installation, and maintenance practices affect tree health and water quality function.