Learn About Our Landscape: Lesson 1.0

No Grass? No Problem!

Have you noticed some bald patches on the lawn, where the grass doesn’t grow? In the summer, when the trees are in full canopy, not enough sunlight reaches the ground to allow the grass to grow into a full cover. This causes the grass to grow in patches, and even then it cannot grow very tall because of the shade from the tree canopy.

Trees also soak up most of the water from rain and stormwater runoff, and grass struggles to grow in low moisture conditions. Did you know that a single beech tree with a 25 inch diameter will divert nearly 6,000 gallons of rainwater in one year? This is important to local ecosystems for many reasons. Stormwater often has a high pollution content, since water picks up pollutants such as oil as it washes across non-porous surfaces like asphalt. Trees soak up the water before it can carry those pollutants into local streams and waterways. Trees are also carbon sinks, meaning they sequester carbon from the atmosphere. Did you know that a single white oak tree with a 25 inch diameter sequesters over 1,250 pounds of carbon dioxide annually?

Trees are integral to our campus because of the ecological services they provide, and they are beautiful specimens that make our campus so inviting. Visit the National Tree Benefit Calculator to find out more about how trees serve local ecosystems.