Trees and forests benefit air quality, biodiversity, neighbourhood aesthetics and also play an essential role in managing stormwater. Tree canopies reduce stormwater runoff by intercepting, capturing and storing rainfall and releasing water into the atmosphere through evapotranspiration. In urban and suburban settings, a single deciduous tree can intercept between 500-760 gallons (~1,800-2,800 L) per year, while a mature coniferous tree can intercept over 4,000 gallons (~15,000 L) per year (PA Trees). In addition, tree roots and leaf little help promote infiltration of runoff into the soil.
Urban Forests in Halifax Regional Municipality
In HRM, it is estimated that street trees provide about $2.1 million in stormwater reduction services annually (HRM). HRM is currently developing an Urban Forest Master Plan (UFMP) with the goal of ensuring a sustainable future for our urban forest. The plan contains an overview of the issues and opportunities regarding sustainable urban forest management in HRM. Neighbourhood Factsheets have also been developed that describe the species composition and age distribution of trees found in each neighbourhood, as well as targets for urban forest restoration. Take a look at the draft UFMP and Neighbourhood Factsheets here.