Fall is an ideal time to plant trees. Roots that have three seasons to establish before the hot, dry summer give seedlings a promising start.
Trees filter water runoff before it enters the stormwater drainage system. This prevents dirt, nutrients, and bacteria from washing into streams and lakes. Trees also reduce the amount of runoff rushing to creeks in a rain storm.
Trees add value to your property and provide shade, beauty, cleaner air, and wildlife habitat. They can protect your yard from erosion when planted along creek banks. Together with native bushes and grasses, trees act as buffers between pollution sources and waterways.
If trees are so good, why are leaves bad for the water? As leaves decay, nutrients that feed algae enter the water. This reduces oxygen in streams and lakes and can lead to fish kills and bad tasting drinking water.
Streams will always have natural sources of falling leaves. But when too many people sweep or blow yard leaves onto streets, the extra leaves in the drainage system cause a problem.
Doing your part:
- www.TreesAcrossDurham.org lists trainings and projects to help keep Durham shady.
- Keep it neat; no leaves on the street. Compost them or use your yard waste bin.
- Report illegal leaf dumping: (919) 560-SWIM.
- Plant trees, bushes, and grasses near stream banks.