Stormwater management with trees and structural soils


The project to manage stormwater with trees and structural soils began in 2004 as a collaboration between the College of Urban Horticulture at Virginia Tech, the Urban Horticulture Institute at Cornell University, and the Department of Land and Water Resources at the University of California, Davis.

We created and evaluated a procedure for collecting and retaining stormwater under pavement in structural soil, utilizing a specialized soil mix that supports pavement while also allowing for extensive tree root development.

Our goal was to create a full-canopy parking lot that utilized trees to perform their natural function of the hydrologic cycle as mediators. This new technology adds another tool to public works departments’ arsenal, especially when it comes to infill development. It may also be used in streetscapes and plazas, as well as parking

This website contains a wealth of information, including a BMP design guide based on our study, a presentation to show your municipality or company how this system works, and many more resource links.


Natural Environment

Built Environment







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