Trees Tame Stormwater


Our Number One Natural Resource in Bradford Woods – our Trees  -work in concert with other stormwater controls to produce a comprehensive solution to rainfall interception and runoff 

The benefits to stormwater management cannot be overstated.

The tree canopy can intercept from 10% to 40% of rainfall, depending upon the species, the time of year and precipitation rates per storm event.

One medium-size tree can intercept about 2400 gallons of water annually

One mature evergreen absorbs about 4000 gallons of water annually as does a mature oak

Additionally, one mature oak can transpire 40,000 gallons of water each year

However, an oak tree is not mature for about 75 years 

Good news – oak can live for 250 to 500 years

One mature oak saves $10 in stormwater management costs annually

How many oak trees are in Bradford Woods?

100 – $1000 annual savings     1 per acre @ 640 acres in Bradford Woods – $6400 annual savings

Bradford Woods Rainfall calculator: One square mile borough
1-inch rainfall event results in ≈ 17.5 million gallons of water

Federal, State and local governments, universities and independent organizations are studying the importance of trees and tree canopy in mitigating stormwater runoff

Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio have formed a regional council of governments funded by the US Forest Service 

They have developed a national guide to help municipalities understand how trees manage stormwater and how trees can be added to a community’s stormwater management toolbox.

Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) and team of national partners
Developing guide for local decision makers to integrate trees into stormwater management design and policy applicable across the nation
Guide designed to overcome widespread lack of understanding, acceptance, and credibility of using trees for managing stormwater
Provide practical tool that informs local decision makers of options and best practices for including trees in stormwater facility design regulations and policies
USDA Forest Service

New York City planted street trees to assist in control of stormwater runoff

The City has realized a savings of $35.6 million in stormwater management costs and a reduction of 890.6 million gallons of runoff annually according to a US Forest Service Study 

Simply by planting street trees.  

A one-inch rainfall over one square mile results in 17.5 million gallons of water.

Whether the rain falls in one hour or 10, the amount is still the same

Let’s visualize 17.5 million gallons

An average-sized inground swimming pool holds about 17,500 gallons of water

Think of one swimming pool and then multiply by 1000 to picture 17.5 million gallons of rainfall

This past Halloween was a record rainfall storm on that day dating back to 1871 

2 inches of rain fell in just two hours – one inch per hour – 35 million gallons of water over Bradford Woods

One square mile

Admittedly, our tree canopy was not as efficient on Halloween 2019 as they would have been in July

But assuredly, trees did mitigate stormwater runoff on that day

In 2019, so far, we have had 6 rainfall events greater than 1 inch; 26 greater than ½ inch

2018 was a record rainfall year dating back to 1871

In 2018, we had 57.8 inches of rain; 12 days greater than 1 inch; 40 days greater than ½ inch

The entire Northeast, including Pennsylvania, is seeing an increase in very heavy precipitation, concentrated in heavy rainfall events

Between years 2010 and 2015, 5-year aerial fly overs showed that Bradford Woods lost 6 acres of trees with on average 80 trees per acre

That loss directly affected stormwater costs with increased road damage, flooding in basements, yards and roadways, washouts in drainage ditches and soil erosion

I am certain that – 

Trees are essential in cutting costs for stormwater management and saving taxpayer dollars 

Enabling the Borough to have funding for other projects.