Dendroremediation: Using Trees to Clean Polluted Soil

Dendroremediation: Using Trees to Clean Polluted Soil (INT)
Erin Quetell, The Greening of Detroit

Green brownfield remediation methods are gaining popularity and interest as we think about previously industrialized vacant land reuse and redevelopment within the city of Detroit. There are over 6,000 blighted and vacant properties in Detroit, many of which have high levels of contaminants. Dendroremediation is the use of trees to remove contaminants from soil, ground water and sediment. Hybrid poplar and hybrid willow trees were planted on brownfield properties to measure their ability to remediate heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), as well as their survivability within contaminated soils. We seek to determine the cost effectiveness of this technology, as well as develop a replicable model for residents, community members and city and state officials to utilize this green technology in other post-industrialized areas.

Erin Quetell, The Greening of Detroit
Erin Quetell has worked as the community forester and research analyst for The Greening of Detroit since October 2013. She is the project manager of the Dendroremediation Research Project which uses hybrid poplar and hybrid willow trees to remediate brownfield properties in Detroit, leads the Carbon Buffering Pilot Program planting trees along city and state right-of-ways, and assists with community tree planting efforts in neighborhoods and parks throughout the city. A previous AmeriCorps member through Huron Pines AmeriCorps, she served with Little Forks Conservancy and the Martuch Chapter of Trout Unlimited as their watershed stewardship coordinator working on stream restoration and land protection projects. She has always had a love for the outdoors and is a passionate advocate for human and environmental rights. In 2012, she received her BS in biology from Grand Valley State University.