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how TREES CLEAN WATER

Leah Feor  | June  01,  2016 | 3 min read

Trees are designed by nature to hold and clean water, making them a vital part of any infrastructure whether it be in an urban or rural area. In a previous blog, How Planting Trees Can Help Reduce Your Carbon Footprint, we explained that mature trees help reduce runoff in urban settings. This prevents water from ending up in storm drains, and that reduces dependency on water treatment facilities. The benefits add up over time, since gallons of rainfall are diverted from treatment, saving time and energy.

While the planet is made up of two thirds water, and the human body contains about 60%, trees hold a little less, 50% of their weight in water

trees clean water

how trees absorb water

Trees not only save rain water from ending up in the storm drains, trees also play a large role in our ecosystems watershed. A watershed is an area of land that catches the water which then makes its way into streams, rivers, lakes, and ultimately to the sea.

After a period of heavy rainfall or flash flooding, trees will absorb a large part of the rainfall, which reduces the negative environmental impact. These trees will then release water back into the earth and atmosphere over time rather than all at once.

This unique system allows trees to absorb water through the leaves – sending it off into the air as oxygen and water vapor – and also pushing the water down through its roots, filtering out harmful substances as it flows into our groundwater.

how trees absorb water

how trees prevent soil erosion

In addition to helping to absorb rainfall and to clean the water, trees' unique root system is holding everything together underground, preventing soil erosion.

Why is erosion prevention important? Because at a time when sea levels are rising and people are living on the water’s edge, erosion prevention is crucial to help reduce landslides and land losses, which can have devastating consequences to both the environment and the local community. 

river in a forest

One small act such as planting a tree can play a part in mitigating the consequences of natural disasters. Keep in mind though; you need to do the act before the benefits appear. So go ahead and plant a tree, or perhaps gift a tree to a loved one. After all, it’s an investment that costs far less than an umbrella, and it will help shelter us from some of the biggest storms.

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

As the need for reforestation is global and ever-changing, we feature where trees are most needed now. Today, we're raising funds to create community forest spaces across England. Learn more

With your help, we will:

  • Invite educational opportunities by engaging local schools
  • Create publicly accessible woodlands for community spaces
  • Increase forest connectivity for native biodiversity
  • England, in the United Kingdom, used to have abundant forest coverage, but changes in land use have caused significant deforestation. In addition to being critical to protecting the climate, forests also build community. This reforestation project will be a highly engaging, community-led initiative to create educational opportunities, volunteer planting events, and public spaces so that everyone, including the most marginalized communities, can enjoy England's native flora and fauna.Thank you so much for your support of healthy forests! 🌲
  • These more than one million trees will make a significant climate impact, sequestering carbon and creating climate resilience by mitigating flooding and the effects of pollution. This project supports increased access to public woodland, especially for communities in need, with opportunities for community engagement and improved public health. Organizations like Forest School and Woodland Outreach will be able to integrate the project with school education to get children out in nature.
  • A personalized tree certificate (see gallery) to say thanks for your donation. We'll also send you updates about this project, so you can track the impact your trees are having on the community and environment.
  • Our partner has chosen native trees that will bring the greatest overall benefit to the area. This includes the following: Pedunculate/Common Oak, Downy Birch, Hazel, Hawthorn, Small-leaved lime, Rowan, Silver Birch, Common Alder, Aspen, Goat Willow, Field Maple, Hornbeam, Beech, Blackthorn and tens more.

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