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This list of stormwater-related events and workshops is compiled as a free service. Washington Stormwater Center does not promote, endorse, or otherwise recommend any of the companies, individuals, or organizations presented here.

The Benefit of Health of Trees in Green Stormwater Infrastructure - Tuesday, January 29 (11:00am - 2:00pm)


Bioretention is a type of green infrastructure practice that is commonly implemented to manage stormwater runoff in cities around the world. Though designs can vary, bioretention practices typically consist of an engineered sandy soil media underlain by a layer of drainage rock and topped with turf grass or mulch and various forms of vegetation.

Due to the unique hydrologic and soil moisture regimes found in bioretention practices, namely extended periods of dryness with intermittent periods of temporary inundation, vegetation, such as shrubs, native grasses, and sedges—which are often selected on their ability to survive these harsh conditions—typically dominate most bioretention planting plans. And while research has shown that trees provide a number of ecosystem services to the urban environment, including heat island mitigation and improved air quality, their contributions to stormwater management in bioretention practices are not well understood.

As a long-lived plant form with extensive above- and below-ground biomass, trees have the potential to improve on the hydrologic and water-quality aspects of bioretention performance previously reported for other forms of vegetation. Therefore, there is a need to characterize tree health in bioretention and the benefits they provide to inform appropriate species selection and enhance the stormwater management performance of bioretention practices.

Join Forester University for this live, educational webinar as speaker and University of Tennessee Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering postdoctoral researcher shares the results of several research efforts conducted at UT designed to investigate the role of trees in bioretention practices and the urban environment. Topics covered will include a field health assessment of trees in existing bioretention practices in the southeastern United States, a controlled experiment comparing the hydrologic and pollutant removal performance of various tree species in bioretention mesocosms, and a field-scale study of two suspended pavement systems designed to function as subsurface bioretention practices that were monitored over a two-year period.

This course will provide insights on the benefits provided by trees in green infrastructure and the considerations that should be prioritized regarding system design and tree species selection to maximize bioretention functionality and improve tree health. By promoting and optimizing the use of trees in bioretention practices, stormwater engineers and urban foresters will also incorporate the various ecosystem services attributed to urban trees and, as a result, increase the overall environmental benefits of the bioretention practice.

Enroll in this free course!