Landscape and Color Field Day

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Plants are NOT Just Pretty- They Serve a Multitude of Functions! Join us on June 29th, 2016 for the Landscape Color and Professional Field Day to learn more. This event will be held at the J.C. Raulston Arboretum. To register go to the Arboretum website and look under events.

To call our urban and suburban landscape plants “ornamental” does them a dis-service. Plants have so much more to offer! Researchers have been making great strides in quantifying the benefits of plants. There are numerous environmental, economic, and social values.

Did you know-

  • The air in an urban heat island can be as much as 20 °F higher than in rural areas surrounding the city. Shading and transpiration can reduce surrounding air temperatures by as much as 9 °F
  • Healthy urban plants can store between 600 to 900 million tons of carbon. This represents the amount of carbon emitted from the USA population in about 5.5 months based on average per capita data.
  • Annual gross carbon sequestration (capture) by USA urban trees is estimated at 22.8 million tC/year; this is equivalent to what the USA population emits over a 5-day period.
  • Total monetary value of urban trees is $14.3 million with an annual sequestration value of $460 million.
  • A well-planned landscape can reduce an unshaded home’s summer air-conditioning costs by 15-50%. In winter, those homes with properly placed windbreaks averaged 25% less fuel consumption. This saves the homeowner between $100-250 in energy costs annually.
  • Healthy urban ecosystems (including suburban and urban neighborhoods) have a positive effect on real estate prices. Buyers are willing to pay between $15 and $92 annually for a denser, healthier urban open space. The total value is between $3.1 million and $19.2 million.
  • Over a 50-year lifetime, a tree generates $31,250 worth of oxygen, provides $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37,500 worth of water, and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion.
  • Plants reduce topsoil erosion, prevent harmful land pollutants contained in the soil from getting into our waterways, slow down water run-off, and ensure that our groundwater supplies are continually being replenished. For every 5% of vegetation cover added to a community, stormwater runoff is reduced by approximately 2%.
  • In a 1″ rainstorm over 12 hours, canopy interception of rain in the urban forest can reduce surface runoff by about 11.3 million gallons, or 17%. These values would increase as the canopy increases.

If you are able to join us on June 29th, you will learn about a variety of plants that serve a multitude of functions. You will also be able to check out some great annuals and perennials not only for color, but for pollinators of all kinds. In addition, you will learn about rain garden research, and container media work aimed at reducing the need for pine bark.

And, you will get a variety of continuing education credits for this event including pesticide and landscape contractor.

See you in June!

 

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Written By

Photo of Dr. Barbara FairDr. Barbara FairExtension Horticulture Specialist and Assistant Professor (919) 513-2804 barbara_fair@ncsu.eduHorticultural Science - NC State University
Updated on Jun 22, 2016
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