Sources for More Information

Bulletin #55: How Trees Can Retain Stormwater Runoff

The issue of stormwater management is sometimes complex and highly technical. However, the approach any community takes will depend on the understanding of available alternatives and public support to pursue those that provide maximum environmental benefits. The following sources of information should provide additional assistance and inspiration for making trees and other vegetation an integral part of stormwater management.

Government Agencies that Can Assist

  • Environmental Protection Agency

    The EPA has the major, federal responsibility for stormwater management in the United States. It is both a regulatory agency and one that produces a wealth of helpful information and guidelines. The EPA’s Stormwater Management website is a good place to start searching for additional information about green infrastructure, runoff simulation models and many related subjects.

    You may also want to view Reduce Runoff: Slow It Down, Spread It Out, Soak It In, a 9-minute, online video produced by EPA and the U.S. Botanic Garden.

  • USDA Forest Service Research/Pacific Southwest Research Station

    The Center for Urban Forestry, now using the name Urban Ecosystem and Social Dynamic Program, has done pioneering work on how trees intercept precipitation in urban settings and how this knowledge can be put to practical use. This organization’s website is a treasure trove of information.

  • USDA National Agroforestry Center

    Headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska, the National Agroforestry Center focuses on ways trees can be put to work in urban and rural settings, including riparian forest buffers.

Calculating Values

The i-Tree Suite

Here is a link to complete information about the computer-based i-Tree suite of programs that can help communities of all sizes analyze their tree resource, including how to determine the value of stormwater retention and other environmental services. Additional programs are being developed, all of which are excellent ways to help manage your urban forest.

Green Value Calculators

The Green Values® Stormwater Toolbox was originally developed primarily for use by planners, engineers and other municipal staff. However, these calculators can be used by anyone with a serious interest in the costs and benefits of green infrastructure.

Helpful Links

Here are some sources of additional information mentioned or used in Bulletin 55:

Special Thanks

The Portland (Oregon) Bureau of Environmental Services has provided much helpful information not only in the creation of Bulletin 55, but as hosts and field trip guides at the 2009 National Partners in Community Forestry Conference. This agency has a wealth of information about most aspects of stormwater management, complete with educational material and examples of success.

More Information

Call 1-888-448-7337 Monday–Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM CST


Tree City USA is an Arbor Day Foundation program in cooperation with:
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