Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Funny

A couple of “jokes” for this Friday…

A climate scientist and a climate denier walk into a bar...
The bartender says "What'll ya have?"
The climate scientist says, "I'll have a beer."
Turning his thumb towards the climate denier, he adds,
"This jerk will have an extra strong hurricane. And no ice."

Climate change denier joke; written by Mark Jeantheau and Skyenne Belland

Through energy use the average home emits more harmful CO2 gas than the average car.  That’s probably because at home your battery doesn’t die if you leave the lights on.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tree Thursday - Golden Shower Tree

Golden Shower Tree
Cassia fistula

The Golden Shower Tree is originally from India where the tree has special significant. It is the state flower of Kerala in India and the tree is depicted on a 20 Indian rupees stamp.  The Golden Shower Tree is also important in Thailand, where it is the national tree, and its flower is Thailand's national flower.  The yellow flowers symbolize Thai royalty.  You can find the Cassia fistula scattered throughout Fort Lauderdale and South Florida.  The pictures below come from Riverland Park taken on May 29, 2013. 

The Golden Shower tree is a medium to large tree growing to about 30 to 35 feet tall.  The tree flowers in the spring and early summer with the peak flowering in June.  The fragrant flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies. In parts of the world, the Cassia fistula is often used as a highly effective moderate laxative that is safe even for children. However, in large doses, the leaves and bark can cause vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and cramps. In Brazilian herbal medicine, the seeds are used as a laxative and the leaves and/or bark is used for pain and inflammation.  Some of these characteristics have lead to the common name “Purging Cassia”. 

Growth Rate – Fast
Salt Tolerance – Medium
Drought Tolerance - Medium   

Photographs below - Young C. fistula at Riverland Park; flower of C. fistula, flower clusters of C. fistula; leaves of C. fistula; trunk of C. fistula; more C. fistula flowers

For more information:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

11 Things You Should Repair Instead of Replace

I can’t send this one out without thinking of my dad.  He could fix almost anything. Of course, he grew up in a time when you had to fix it because you didn’t have the money to buy a new one and it was frown upon to just throw something away. 

11 Things You Should Repair Instead of Replace

As seen on ABC News Now! Fixing things saves money and helps the planet. It's easy!

Some people seem to have an uncanny ability to fix things just by touching them (or even just by looking at them), most of us aren't so lucky. Still, there are many benefits to fixing things rather than tossing them out and buying new replacements, from money savings to our own pride and knowledge, not to mention the environment.
It shouldn't surprise you that fixing things rather than buying new can save you a lot of money. In many cases simply sewing on a missing button, touching up a nicked paint job or gluing on a broken corner can get your possessions back up to snuff with only minimal effort and very low expenditure. The trouble is, these days many of us fail to go beyond the easiest small repairs, instead opting to buy new at the smallest sign of trouble.
There are other benefits to fixing things, including learning more about how things work, gaining a sense of accomplishment, spending bonding time with children and family members, and preserving heirloom and unique items. You can also buy better quality things, since you'll have more confidence to know that you can repair them and get more value from them.
Here’s a list of eleven things that you should repair instead of replacing.  One thing you need to think about though is purchasing goods that are worth repairing in the first place!
1.       Shoes
2.       Clothes
3.       Luggage
4.      Cars
5.       Accessories
6.      Home goods
7.       Electronics and appliances
8.       Plants and trees
9.       Building materials
10.   Furniture
11.   Leaky faucets and toilets

For more information on repairing the above items, go to

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Home Style Trend: Eco-conscience bamboo
Nature's wonder grass is making inroads into home décor.
May 16, 2013

Bamboo is having a moment. Everywhere you look, nature’s wonder grass is making inroads into home décor. And why not? Most manufacturers use fewer chemicals in the growing and treating process; it’s durable and easy to clean; and it’s one of the few renewable materials found in nature. “In the West, we tend to think of bamboo as a flimsy stick,” says Endrit Hajno, senior designer for Core Bamboo. “But the U.S. is starting to learn from the many ways people in Asia have been using bamboo in design for centuries.”
Need a bamboo fix? Try:
BogoBrush’s natural toothbrush is made from 100% biodegradable bamboo and nylon bristles. (, $10)
Hang your bath towel on the Bamboo Wall Towel Coat Rack. It won’t warp, smell or retain moisture (, $29.99).
Traditionalists will like Core Bamboo’s collection of bowls hand-spun by Vietnamese artisans and painted in vibrant colors (; $18-$120).
For quality, material should be laminated and joints constructed properly, Hajno says. Aesthetically, it’s all about the grain. Wide-grained items tend to be cheaper. Thin-grained items use more stalk slices to create patterns but are costlier.

Uses of Bamboo - 1000 Things Made from Bamboo

An Asian saying; "A man is born in a bamboo cradle and goes away in a bamboo coffin. Everything in between is possible with bamboo!"

It's true though, from edible bamboo shoots to construction, medicine, bamboo fabric or biofuel it is all been done before. For the past 10 years, bamboo experts have been experimenting with the multiple uses of bamboo and are still discovering new applications, bamboo fiber for the garment and automotive industries, flooring boards, veneers as thin as 0.2 mm, are just some of many examples.
The challenges we face today is to further improve and innovate the uses of bamboo. Since bamboo is the fastest growing plant on earth and a sustainable building material, it could easily substitute all known wood applications without having to cut down entire bamboo groves or plantations. Better yet, bamboo continuously grows after harvest without having to re-plant it. Bamboo also converts about 35% more CO2 into oxygen than a regular tree.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Tree Thursday - Lignumvitae

Guaiacum sanctum

For the second week in a roll I’m featuring a tree with blue flowers.  Like I said, they are rare in nature.  The Lignumvitae is an extremely slow-growing native tree.  Lignumvitae trees are uncommon in the landscape due to the slow growth, not being widely available commercially and can be expensive when compared to other trees.  While one article I read mentioned they can mature at 30-40 feet tall, the largest specimens I’ve seen in landscapes are about 12-15 feet tall.  After the 9-11 attacks, I used the Lignumvitae (Tree of Life) as a memorial tree for the victims.  You can find one near the south side entrance of Fort Lauderdale City Hall and one in Colee Hammock Park (1500 Brickell Drive).  There is also a very nice specimen in the native garden at Esplanade Park across from the Museum of Discovery and Science.  Pictured below is the Colee Hammock Park Lignumvitae in bloom.  I took that photo on April 26, 2013. 

In the Florida Keys, there is Lignumvitae Key Bontanical State Park that has many naturally occurring Lignumvitae trees.  The oldest one is estimated to be 1500 years old and if I remember right, it’s only about 20 feet tall and 8 inches in diameter.  The park is a wonderful place to visit but you do have to take a boat to get there.  I believe the State still offers boat tours to the key. 

Guaiacum sanctum is the national tree of the Bahamas and Guaiacum officinale, also known as Lignumvitae, is the national tree of Jamaica.  Lignumvitae is a great medium for carvings. Lignumvitae wood was used in the past to make ball bearings because its extremely high resin content makes it self-lubricating. Another place that Lignumvitae were used was in United States courtrooms, where the judge's gavel was traditionally made from this fine wood.

The Lignumvitae would make a great addition to almost anyone’s landscape!

Growth Rate – Extremely slow
Salt Tolerance – High
Drought Tolerance – High

Colee Hammock Park Lignumvitae                                           Lignumvitae seedpods

Example of form                                                                                              Lignumvitae Flower

Gene Dempsey, City Forester
Office of Sustainability
Office - (954) 828-5785  Fax - (954) 828-4745

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Live Burrowing Owl Cam in Broward County

Dear Habitat Stewards,
Please see the announcement from our partner Kelly Heffernan, Director South Florida Audubon Society’s Project Perch:  
To the friends of the Burrowing owls:
Some of you may know that I have been working with the Broward County Schools and James Currie of Birding Adventures to have an EarthCam installed so we could watch the Burrowing owls. The EarthCam and Birding Adventures 24/7 video feed is live and you can access it at and the owls have their own Facebook page at .  
Will you be the first one to see owlets emerge from the burrow? Peek in on the daily life of a Burrowing owl colony living at a school. While the children are away, watch the owls play! Catch them bringing back breakfast or dinner from the school’s edible garden or see them napping and hanging out during the busy school day.
This amazing partnership between EarthCam, Birding Adventures, SFAS, NatureScape Broward and the Broward County Schools allows the students to put the spotlight on their Burrowing Owls, a threatened species. They hope to raise awareness and increase protection efforts for Burrowing owls everywhere and want children everywhere to be able to watch them, like they can.
You are all invited to start watching with us.  So please join us!
 Follow us on Twitter @BrowardResource

Don't Dump, Donate

Instead of tossing out those gently used items, why not make sure they find their way to someone in need?

The next time you upgrade something, can no longer stand the sight of something hideous, or simply need to downsize, think "donate" instead of "dump."
America has long been ridiculed around the world for being a throwaway society. On average, each one of us tosses out four and a half pounds of garbage every day, adding up to a whopping total of 245 million tons per year. A lot of that material is perfectly serviceable stuff, and could be readily used by the less fortunate.
Most towns have collection centers for used clothing, books, toys, durable goods and even canned foods. Check with your local government, or stop by a Salvation Army, Goodwill or independent thrift store. Shelters for women and families will often accept almost anything in decent shape.
Many churches and other religious organizations often hold community garage sales, and solicit items from the area for donation. Finally, don't forget the easiest, and greenest, option of all: share with your friends, family and neighbors! That way you won't even have to get in a car or transit to pass something on, and you can share stories as well as goods.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New uses for old tissue boxes

“After trying several types of car trash holders, those that strap on the back seat and those that hang on a dash knob, I found the most convenient holder,” says Lenore Erickson of Green Bay, Wis. “As you empty your facial tissue boxes from your home, place one in the car. When you want to empty it, just throw the whole box in the trash can.”
When a family member has the sniffles, Betty Oney of Fort Myers, Fla., places an empty box next to a new box so used tissues can be deposited immediately.
Jami Garrison/Getty Images

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tree Thursday - Jacaranda

Jacaranda – Jacaranda mimosifolia

Over the last few weeks, you may have noticed a beautiful splash of blue flowers within our tree canopy.  This is the Jacaranda or Jacaranda mimosifolia. The tree is originally from Brazil and Argentina but has found a welcome home in South Florida.  Blue flowers are rare in the plant world, especially trees, so it offers a contrast to the yellows and reds that are more common.  You can find Jacarandas along Victoria Park Road and a few other areas in Fort Lauderdale.  When the tree is not in bloom it can be confused with the Royal Poinciana because it does have the same type of bipinnately compound leaves with finely textured foliage.  The one way I have found to distinguish the two is that the leaflets on the Jacaranda are pointed where the leaflets on the Royal Poinciana are rounded.  The Jacaranda most of the time has a more upright growth habit over the weeping Royal Poinciana. 
Unfortunately, when trying to purchase Jacarandas over the last few years, it’s been hard to get good specimens.  Hopefully this will change because they are such beautiful trees in bloom and provide nice shade year-round. 

Typical Height – 35-45 feet in South Florida
Growth Rate – Fast
Salt Tolerance – Low
Drought Tolerance - High


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

5 Basic Steps You Can Take to Green Your Scene and be More Personally Sustainable

5 Basic Steps You Can Take to Green Your Scene and be More Personally Sustainable

A crash course in green for the timidly eco-challenged.

By Marye Audet
Lancaster, TX, USA | Aug 2009

A lot of people seem to think that going green is time consuming, difficult, or sacrificial. The funny thing about it is, for the most part, it offers a lifestyle that is rich and full. I wouldn't have it otherwise. So, if you are afraid that you will turn into a compulsive eater of organic seaweed and tofu, live in a yurt in the midst of Wyoming, or be forced to ride a bike thirty miles to work every day, well you just lose that thought right now. Everyone can make tiny changes to be more personally sustainable.
I like that phrase, personally sustainable. It is sort of like self sufficient but not so much of a commitment.
You know, many of our parents and grandparents were green without really realizing it. I mean, they did not live in the throwaway society we live in, they bought things and used them forever. Food was stored in glass jars which were reusable and made to last. Do you know that I have a Mason jar that was my moms and I just found out has been in use since 1942? Do the math! That jar has been preserving my favorite bread and butter pickles for 67 years.

Five Baby Steps to Going Green

So, you are willing to at least try a few things? Great. Here are some ideas to get you started. You will almost certainly think of more. To tempt you over to the green side I have given the positive and the negative aspects of each.

1. Make It Yourself

This is a lot easier than you think. Those convenience foods that look so appealing in the package are full of chemicals and flavor enhancers. It isn't real food, you know, any more than silk flowers are real flowers.
Many of the things you use because they are time savers are not saving you that much time. Here are some things you are probably buying that you can make at home, easily and cheaply. You can find recipes all over the Internet for these items. Just substitute organic ingredients for non-organic ones.
  • Catsup – use organic tomato paste as a base. It takes about 3 minutes or less.
  • Syrup- 2 cups sugar to 1 cup water and boil for one minute. Add 2 teaspoons of organic maple flavor. It takes about 2 minutes total.
  • Mayo- you can do this in a blender. Time commitment? Less than 5 minutes.
  • Bread- if you have not read Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day you must close the computer down and go to the library immediately. It really does only take five minutes a day and it is easy.
I could go on but you get the idea, right? You can make almost anything that you can buy in the store and that includes cleaning supplies.
  • Why This Is Green: Making things yourself is green because you are using organic products, less packaging, and fewer manufacturing processes.
  • Personal Benefits: Personal satisfaction is at the top of the list with better flavor and higher quality food coming in a close second.
  • Downside?: You do have to learn to anticipate your needs, be a little organized and think ahead. There is a little effort involved.

2. Get Out of Debt

Work on getting out of debt and then stay out. Learn to live on your income and pay off your credit card balances every month if you choose to use credit.
      • Why This Is Green: Some people use lack of money as an excuse not to buy healthy foods or Fair Trade items and yet they are paying several hundred dollars in interest payments every month. Not having to pay interest frees up money that you can use to support your favorite cause, buy higher quality foods, and live a more relaxed lifestyle.
      • Personal Benefits: You will be healthier, feel more confident and in control, and you will be doing much more for the economy that buying in credit will. A strong national economy grows out of a strong personal economy.
      • Downside?: You may have to change your lifestyle as well as your perspective.

3. Stay Home

Too many people eat fast food as they are driving here and there. Our society is unhealthily mobile. You get off work, come home, change clothes, and then head back out to run errands or visit friends. Learn to enjoy being home by making your environment a sanctuary
      • Why This Is Green: You won't be using gasoline as you drive from here to there. You won't be putting that wear and tear on your car either.
      • Personal Benefits: You will be less likely to buy things on a whim so you will save money. By slowing your pace you will feel more relaxed and less stressed.
      • Downside?: You will be forced to spend time with someone you may not know too well, yourself. It may take a while to change habits and you might feel bored.

4. Shop Local

O.k. So if you are one of those people that is addicted to bananas then you might be afraid to read further. It's o.k., trust me.
Shopping local does not have to be extreme. It just means to try to seek out the small farmer, the independent business owner, and the other businesses that are close to you. You don't have to give up anything, just be more aware of buying local products. As a first step just ask at the closest livestock feed store (and you will surely have one in your area unless you are centered in a huge city) if anyone local has yard eggs for sale. There is nothing like fresh eggs and they likely will be less expensive than the eggs at the grocery.
      • Why This Is Green: You are supporting the local economy, for one thing. For another you can be pretty sure of how ethical the farmer or business is if you are visiting it regularly.
      • Personal Benefits: You will gain fresher food, higher quality products, stronger social network. You can even make an adventure of visiting the farm.
      • Downside?: Depending on how compulsive you get about this you may have to go without certain products at certain time of the year. It is not always totally convenient.

5. Read Your Favorite Magazine Online

Many magazines are now online and even more are on electronic readers like Amazon's Kindle. These devices are great to take anywhere because they are small and easy to transport. They can hold thousands of pages of magazines, books, and newspapers all ready for you to read anytime you like.
      • Why This Is Green: The technical aspects take less of a chunk out of the environment that manufacturing millions of magazines does. Trees are not needed for paper, gasoline is not needed for delivery and it doesn't end up in a landfill when you are done reading.
      • Personal Benefits: You will be saving money.
      • Downside?: It is really, really hard to cut coupons. If you are tactile and need to touch the pages (like I am) it takes a bit of getting used to.

You Can Do It!

It isn't that difficult. Choose one item a month and practice it every day. It takes three weeks to develop a new habit. If you choose one thing to do from the list, or use one of your own ideas every month you will be living a much more self sufficient, much more eco-friendly, much more prosperous lifestyle in less than half a year.

Promoting the optimum health of our land through the use of earth-friendly materials, recycling and conservation practices.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Stop Junk Mail!

While the holidays are months away, now is the time to put a stop to all those useless catalogs you get that go straight to the recycle bin.  Sometimes it makes you wonder how these companies make any money with all the junk mail they send out!  (Thanks to Monique for the idea of searching out this thought!)

Opt Out of Catalog Deliveries

With just a couple clicks of a mouse, you can save yourself countless minutes sorting mail, declutter your home – and help stop the loss of 100 million trees cut annually to produce junk mail.

At no time do American mailboxes fill up with more catalogs and coupons than around the holidays. Do the planet, and yourself, a favor and get your name off direct mail lists. It's been estimated that we use as much as 100 million trees and 28 billion gallons of water to produce junk mail for just one year. Each American household received an estimated 850 catalogs, credit card solicitations and other junk mail.
You can stop 75% of all junk mail by registering for the Mail Preference Service on the Direct Marketing Association Website. For a fee of $1, they will help remove your name and address from prospective mailing lists. Be patient, as it may take up to 90 days for most mail to stop. But you will be glad you did.
You may also want to check out SlotGuard, which can help stop phone books as well as junk mail.
And, the newest option is the Stop Mail envelope from Catalog Choice. For $6.75, you can stuff junk mail into it, send it to Catalog Choice and the company will communicate to the senders to stop the unwanted mail.

Monday, May 13, 2013

3 Ways To Make Yard Work Greener

With the rainy season (or Spring) upon us, yard work becomes an every weekend task.  Here’s some things to think about when you are working in the yard...
April 26, 2013
It’s very easy to get dirty when working in the yard yet what ends up on our hands and clothing isn’t true guck and grime. That’s because in reality the earth is clean and nature is constantly renewing itself as a place for life to exist.
Ironically, because of limited time but a desire to keep our properties looking somewhat respectable, we try to speed up the process that harm our environment. We use machines that run on or derivatives of fossil fuels which pollute, harsh substances that contaminate, and misuse natural resources.
In many ways what ends up happening is that we leave the ground a little worse off than when we started. That’s why there is no better time than now to make a few adjustments to our landscaping and gardening practices and bring about a greener future for our communities and the environment at large.
Consider the following three points to help achieve this goal:
The automatic tools we use in the yard like lawn mowers, weed whackers, and bush trimmers make cleaning up  a lot easier but depending on their energy source can negatively impact the ecosystem around us.
How so? Take the models that use gasoline. They burn it just like vehicles driving down the street and depending how big a lawn is studies have shown the average lawnmower can create as much pollution as a car on the freeway. That means the person holding the lever is breathing in fumes until the last blade of grass is cut!
Electric power is a better option but during the summer electricity is in high demand. Additional pressure on the grid equals more pollution, especially for power plants that run on coal.
The bottom line: Whenever possible, try using manual tools. They may require a little extra effort but when juxtaposed with the effects automatic tools have on our health and environment they are worth a few extra minutes outdoors.
Pesticides are a common problematic chemical used on a homeowner’s property. When they are sprayed on plants producing food they can be absorbed by fruits and vegetables and scrubbing and washing won’t remove what's under the skin. Also, pesticides not only kill pests but beneficial insects as well which means they can drastically affect the local ecosystem.
A second category of chemicals is weed killers, which don’t always discriminate between weeds and desirable plants. They can make pets and wildlife very sick and potentially contaminate soil by tainting aquifers when absorbed into the ground.
Exposure to both weed killers and pesticides are believed to cause uncomfortable symptoms in people like itchy eyes and dizziness and repeated contact with these substances may result in serious long term health problems.
The bottom line: There are many natural methods for warding off pests and killing weeds including store bought products and solutions made from household staples. Make one of these your preferred choice for striking back at pests or unwanted vegetation. Also, keeping plants healthy can control weeds and avert disease.
A third point for greening yard work involves focusing on resources. On the one hand resources need to be used wisely, such as water, which should be distributed near a plant’s roots.  When water it poured on leaves or sprayed with a garden hose it creates a lot of waste.
Another consideration about water usage is the types of plants in the yard including the lawn and how needy they are as some species require less water than others.
Meanwhile, resources aren’t just about keeping certain things in check but also checking what’s available for improving overall efficiency. For example, it’s very easy to go to a home improvement store to buy fertilizer, mulch, and other landscaping and gardening products but usually unnecessary.
Depending on your surroundings many of these items can be made on site. Food scraps can be composted and clippings and trimmings can be turned into mulch. Doing so is simply another form of using and reusing that makes the world a better place.

Jakob Barry is a home improvement journalist for He blogs about Green topics for professionals across the U.S. like fencing contractors in Scottsdale, AZ.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Funny


God: Francis, you know all about gardens and nature; what in the world is going on down there in the U.S.? What happened to the
dandelions, violets, thistles and the stuff I started eons ago?

I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought, and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honeybees, and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of color by now. All I see are patches of green.

St. Francis: It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. They are called the Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers "weeds" and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

God: Grass?  But it is so boring, it's not colorful.  It doesn't attract butterflies, bees or birds, only grubs and sod worms.
It's temperamental with temperatures.  Do these Suburbanites really want grass growing there?

St. Francis: Apparently not, Lord.  As soon as it has grown a little, they cut it -- sometimes two times a week.

God: They cut it? Do they bale it like hay?

St. Francis: Not exactly, Lord.  Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

God: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

St. Francis: No sir, just the opposite.  They pay to throw it away.

God: Now let me get this straight -- they fertilize it to make it grow and when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it

St. Francis: Yes, sir.

God: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the winter
 when we cut back on the rain and turn down  the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

St. Francis: You aren't going to believe this Lord, but when the
 grass stops growing so fast, they turn on the irrigation and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

God: What nonsense! At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself.
The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep the moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as they rot, the leaves become compost
to enhance the soil. It's a natural circle of life.

St. Francis: You'd better sit down, Lord. As soon as the leaves fall, the Suburbanites rake them into great piles and pay to
have them hauled away.

God: No way! What do they do to protect the shrubs and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?

St Francis: After throwing the leaves away, they go out and buy something called mulch. They haul it home and spread it around
in place of the leaves.

God: And where do they get this mulch?

St. Francis: They cut down the trees and grind them up to make mulch.

God: Enough! I don't want to think about this anymore. Saint Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have
you scheduled for us tonight?

St. Catherine: "Dumb and Dumber," Lord. It's a really stupid movie about...

God: Never mind -I think I just heard the whole story from Saint Francis!


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Worried About Water Pollution? Plant a Tree

Sorry, I’ll get back on track with my Tree Thursday articles soon.  In the meanwhile here’s an article on one of the important benefits of trees.  -Gene

Worried About Water Pollution? Plant a Tree

What trees to plant and where to plant them to reduce runoff.

By Josh Peterson
Los Angeles, CA, USA | Jun 2009
You should plant trees as often as you can. You can go carbon neutral by planting twenty trees a year.  If that's not a good enough reason, you can plant them to increase the energy-efficiency of your home or use them to reduce runoff.
Runoff pollution is a major contributor to the decrease of water quality and is an often overlooked environmental problem. A single medium-sized tree can filter over 2000 gallons of water a year. The water is then put back into the water cycle via evapotranspiration. Planting a tree can keep our water clean and drinkable.

How to Plant Trees to Reduce Runoff

Evergreen or Deciduous?
Evergreens are better at preventing runoff pollution than deciduous trees. Evergreens never lose their green and, therefore, they never stop transpiring. If you are planting a tree for shear runoff prevention, then an evergreen is definitely for you.

However, one of the best ways to keep runoff pollution from running off of things like cement and buildings is by covering it with a tree canopy. Deciduous trees are better at creating an overhead canopy on cement areas, but always plant trees at least two feet away from cement and five feet from buildings. Vines might be a better option in some cases.
And if you are planting trees to save energy in your home. Deciduous should go on the south and east side and evergreens should go on the north and east side.
Another case for deciduous trees is that it creates more tree litter. Leaves and branches are great at impeding the flow of runoff. Roots (present in evergreens as well) also help to break up the soil and further retard runoff.
Things to Remember About Planting a Tree
Trees are not rain gardens. They are not as hardy. If you use a water catchment system to divert water to a tree, the tree may die.

Check for overhead wires before planting a tree and remember to check with your neighbor if the tree is close to his or her property line. And if you do plant a deciduous tree near cement, you risk inciting a tree root-cement conflict in the future.