Using Trees for Stormwater Management

As highlighted in a recent article, Minnesota is beginning to help local communities to meet federal requirements regarding stormwater discharges from certain activities, such as construction or industrial activities. In the past, this was done primarily by using pipes to direct the stormwater. Minnesota is developing the idea of phasing out pipes, and offering credit to folks who use trees instead of pipes to control runoff.

Courtesy: Marc Cornells via Flickr

Peter Macdonagh, of the Kestrel Design Group, cited trees as “… the oldest form of green infrastructure in cities”. Trees have always naturally provided some sort of stormwater benefit in cities, but have rarely if ever been used as part of a plan intentionally. Regulators, planners, and homeowners are beginning to recognize just how useful they can be, and are starting to devise a number of ways to use them – not only in stormwater management, but in other uses as well.

It is hopeful that Minnesota’s idea can spread to other cities and states, and can promote the idea of using ecologically sound methods. Using nature instead of adding more man-made features will be better for the long term, and will require less maintenance on a year-to-year basis.

You don’t have to wait for your state, county or town to offer a credit like Minnesota has in order to start using trees to control the stormwater runoff at your home or place of business. You simply need to consider the advantages and, instead of installing pipes that run beneath the ground and lend no decorative property, think about planting trees that can be effective and provide shade and greenery for years to come. You can also be proactive, and recommend this article to your local planners, your homeowners association, or folks you may be involved with on the business level.

About AndrewT

Written by Andrew T for LawnEq - The specialists for Lawn Mower Parts and Small Engine Parts. We offer genuine premium OEM parts for Land Pride, Toro and many more dependable brands.