Trees are among the most versatile and important pieces of natural infrastructure. Urban forests, tree canopies and street trees absorb stormwater runoff, reduce the urban heat island effect, and improve city air quality.
Urban trees play an important role in absorbing stormwater runoff, as mature trees intercept 25 to 35 percent of the rainwater that falls on them. According to the Chief Economist of the TD Bank, Toronto’s urban forest reduces 25 million cubic meters of rain water from going into the sewer system, saving the City $108 million every couple of years. That’s a lot of free work being done by Toronto’s 10 million trees.