Trees and water

To live in New Orleans means to have a complicated relationship with water. We are surrounded by it, but cannot swim in it. We rejoice when the afternoon rains cool a hot and steamy day, but our eyes are watching the streets in fear of flash floods.

Trees are an integral part of “green infrastructure”, a phrase that is becoming more and more popular. Green infrastructure means taking a natural approach to urban water management. It means planting trees, installing rain barrels, digging bioswales and planting rain gardens. It means not relying on expensive pumping systems to remove the water from our streets, but rather catching it where and as it falls.

Trees have an enormous capacity to drink rainwater and are one of the cheapest, most effective ways to manage flooding at your home. Trees work as systems—the more trees in your neighborhood, the safer and more resilient your community becomes.