EPA Stormwater to Street Trees

Stormwater to Street Trees, Engineering the Urban Forest for Stormwater Management

Davey Resource Group was contracted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a guide about the ways urban trees help manage stormwater runoff. The guide, EPA Publication 841 B 13 001 titled Stormwater to Street Trees, Engineering Urban Forests for Stormwater Management, examines:

  • What trees need to grow in urban environments and how they help manage stormwater
  • Some of the engineered systems available today, such as suspended pavement and structural soil, that utilize trees to manage a volume of stormwater
  • Projects throughout the country that have successfully used trees in stormwater management

The guide is intended to help engineers, planners, developers, architects, arborists, and public officials understand how trees perform and interact in a stormwater management system. New technologies used to increase the stormwater utility function of the urban forest, even in the densest urban environments, are presented. The guide contains descriptions of stormwater management systems with trees and lists applicable practices, applications, and design considerations for each. Conceptual illustrations which detail the subsurface and streetscape accompany the descriptions.

To develop the guide, Davey Resource Group conducted a literature search to find out about innovative tree planting systems that utilize and mitigate stormwater. Additionally, Davey Resource Group, with the assistance of EPA, reached out to municipalities who have used suspended pavement, structural cells, structural soil, and permeable pavement to enhance tree growth and manage more stormwater on site.  

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