Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2016CA362B

Monitoring tree survival and performance in street-side stormwater management facilities

Institute: California
Year Established: 2016 Start Date: 2016-03-01 End Date: 2017-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $9,991 Total Non-Federal Funds: $2,598

Principal Investigators: Igor Lacan

Abstract: Street-side stormwater infiltration basins (“stormwater facilities”), planted with vegetation that often includes ornamental trees, are becoming increasingly common in cities. While their effectiveness in managing stormwater has been well documented, very little is known about the performance of trees – survival, growth, and health – planted therein. This project evaluates tree survival, growth, and condition in stormwater facilities, over period of two years, with street trees of the same species and comparable age used as controls. We use the city of Portland, Oregon (more than 10 years experience with trees in stormwater facilities) as a long-term comparison for three cities in the San Francisco Bay Area (San Francisco, San Jose, El Cerrito; 0-4 years experience). Study will result in two products: a publication of initial results, and a monitoring protocol. Study results will be presented in a peer-reviewed article, trade journal article, and a webinar. The study results will also be used to construct a standardized monitoring protocol for trees in stormwater facilities, to be used by cities that are installing their own stormwater facilities. The protocol will be informed by the study results as well as the suggestions from partner cities, and will include instructions, data collection templates and calculation sheets, as well as a discussion of lessons learned in the study.