Six Good Reasons to Plant Trees Beside a Stream

Saplings plant­ed on the bank of Stout Creek will even­tu­al­ly grow to shade the stream and end up as the next gen­er­a­tion of log jam habi­tat.


The strip of land beside your stream is a great place to plant trees.  First of all, the 20 feet or so direct­ly beside the stream prob­a­bly isn’t prac­ti­cal to use for most oth­er pur­pos­es.  Sec­ond, the banks are too steep.  Third, there will prob­a­bly be sea­son­al flood­ing.  Besides, a forest­ed buffer zone along a stream is real­ly ben­e­fi­cial.

The Benefits of Trees

It’s great habi­tat for wildlife and when large branch­es and leaves fall into the stream, it ends up being just what the doc­tor ordered for salmon and steel­head. Trees help you by reduc­ing the risk of flood­ing and sta­bi­liz­ing the bank.  In fact, there are six real­ly very good rea­sons to plant trees stream side:

  1. They shade and cool the air and the stream water.  It’s what they’re know for.
  2. Trees actu­al­ly can clean the soil and the water per­co­lat­ing through it by absorb­ing chem­i­cals and oth­er pol­lu­tants. Sci­en­tists have stud­ied how trees fil­ter sewage and farm chem­i­cals, reduce the harm­ful effects of con­cen­trat­ed ani­mal wastes, and clean water runoff that enters streams.
  3. Trees slow storm water runoff and reduce the threat of flood­ing.
  4. Trees break the force of wind to help keep top­soil in place. Their roots bind the soil con­tribut­ing to bank sta­bi­liza­tion.
  5. Trees cre­ate oxy­gen. A mature tree pro­duces as much oxy­gen in a grow­ing sea­son as 10 peo­ple inhale in a year.  They also act as a giant fil­ters clean­ing the air we breath. Trees clean the air by inter­cept­ing air­borne par­ti­cles, reduc­ing heat and absorb­ing pol­lu­tants such as car­bon monox­ide, sul­fur diox­ide and nitro­gen diox­ide.
  6. When they grow old and die, logs that have fall­en into a stream will make great habi­tat for fish.

Actu­al­ly a pret­ty good rea­son for trees, don’t you think?


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