Urban Tree Pit Design Factors for Stormwater Management Performance

  • July 2018
  • Journal Brief
  • Robert Elliott, Elizabeth Adkins, Patricia Culligan, Matthew Palmer

Street trees in the urban environment provide important ecosystem services including stormwater management, reducing pollutant discharges and flooding by lessening surface runoff.

Does the design of an urban tree pit affect its ability to absorb stormwater? If so, how? This study identifies key physical design features that affect the stormwater management performance of tree pits. Between June and July of 2014, the study measured the ability of 40 street tree pits in New York City to soak up stormwater, capturing performance measures for multiple tree pit types commonly found in New York and other cities.

Download the brief using the link at the bottom of the page. 

This brief is adapted from the following peer-reviewed journal article: Elliott, R.M., Adkins, E.R., Culligan, P.J., & M.I. Palmer. (2018). “Stormwater infiltration capacity of street tree pits: Quantifying the influence of different design and management strategies in New York City.” Ecological Engineering, 111(2018), 157-166. Access the full article here.

An urban tree and protective grate embedded in the sidewalk.
An urban tree and protective grate embedded in the sidewalk. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Mario Hains

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