County Says More Trees Mean Less Grass

Harris County will be planting nearly 40-thousand trees in the next five months. And while the added greenery should make those areas easier on the eyes, the county is hoping the trees will serve a different purpose. Bill Stamps explains.
The Harris County Flood Control District already plants more than 20-thousand trees a year along its channels and flood basins. Workers will plant nearly 40-thousand by march. One of the reasons — to keep from having to cut the grass. Heather Saucier is with the county flood control.

"Many people don't realize that we mow about 16- thousand acres of land three times a year. So that's a lot of mowing and essentially it costs us about 4.8 million dollars a year to mow all of our infrastructure three times."


Saucier says it's the shade that slows down the rate of growth of the grass. Another thing the trees do is help prevent erosion along the banks of the basins and channels.

"When we plant a lot of trees, the root system forms almost like a web type pattern and it anchors the soil in place and so they help to reduce our risk of erosion and so we spend close to 8 million dollars a year about on projects that repair eroded side slips in Harris County, so again trees are helping to reduce those maintenance costs."


And all of that she says saves tax payers money. So they'll be doing a lot of tree planting in the coming months…so much, the county has had to start its own nursery just to keep up with the demand.


Images were provided by the Harris County Flood Control District.