Plant Trees for Clean Water

Plant Trees for Clean Water
Posted on 04/30/2019
New Hope is a proud supporter of Arbor Month. Below is information from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources of what trees do to help keep our community's water clean:

Everything from tree roots to leaves play a role in keeping our water in lakes, rivers, and aquifers clean. This is important because 75 percent of Minnesotans get their drinking water from the forested parts of the state. Forests act like an umbrella, filter, and sponge to keep water clean.

Umbrella Effect
Trees and under story plants slow down and guide rain as it falls to the ground. This umbrella effect prevents soil from washing away into lakes and streams. Plus, it lets water seep deep to replenish groundwater in aquifers.

Filter Effect
The large and numerous pore spaces in forest soils trap sediment, nutrients, and pollutants suspended in rainwater. This filter effect prevents contaminants from entering ground and surface waters.

Sponge Effect
The pore spaces that filter contaminants also soak up and store rainwater and snowmelt like a big sponge. Over time, the forest soil slowly releases water and helps keep soil in place, reducing flooding and erosion.

Celebrate Arbor Month by planting a tree or two in your yard to provide clean water for generations to come. The DNR's Planting Trees and Seedlings page features a helpful videos and instructions on how to plant trees. Their Tree Care and Pruning page features videos and tips on how to water a newly planted tree and how to mulch a tree.

Forest and Clean Water Facts
• Retaining and managing forests is one of the best ways to protect drinking water and reduce the cost of water treatment.
• A 10 percent increase in forests in a watershed results in a 20 percent decrease in treatment and chemical costs downstream.
• Forests produce four times less storm runoff than an agricultural field during a 4-inch rainfall.
• About three-quarters of Minnesotans get their drinking water from the forested parts of the state.
• Sound management of forested public lands surrounding the Mississippi River ensures clean drinking water for more than 1 million Minnesotans.
• Urban trees decrease water entering storm sewers by capturing rain, increasing flow of water into the soil, and transpiring water into the air.
• Larger trees intercept more water: a typical 20-year-old hackberry in Minneapolis intercepts 1,394 gallons of rainfall per year while a typical 40-year-old hackberry intercepts 5,387 gallons.