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Trees as Protection from Storms

Making It Grow! Minute logo

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Making It Grow gets lots of calls from Charlotte, right up the road in North Carolina. Charlotte is rightfully proud of its urban tree program and the City does a lot to protect its valuable tree canopy, which provides numerous benefits to its citizens. As we watch the devastation from Hurricane Harvey, it should serve as an encouragement for all of us to plant trees in our urban areas. Charlotte’s trees intercept over a billion gallons of rainwater each year, vastly reducing the amount of storm water runoff; the have put a value of two hundred million dollars on this service. The leaves, twigs, branches and bark hold and retain water as its falls on a tree and the water that isn’t retained hits the ground with less force, reducing soil compact and lessening the chances of erosion. 

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.