What Is Phytoremediation?

Phytoremediation is the process of planting trees and other plants to clean up contaminated soil and water. Due to recent advances in plant microbiology, phytoremediation has increasingly become more cost-effective and feasible than traditional remediation approaches for a wide range of polluted sites, while providing communities with the host of co-benefits inherently offered by trees—shade, carbon sequestration, watershed health, and habitat for wildlife.

In an effort to scale the use of this nature-based solution nationally, Arbor Day Foundation is proud to partner with Intrinsyx Environmental, a phytoremediation firm based out of NASA Ames Research Park in Mountain View, California. Intrinsyx Environmental has pioneered a new form of microbe-enhanced phytoremediation that protects trees from phytotoxicity and has been implemented in more than 30 sites across the US.

Thanks to this partnership, Arbor Day Foundation is now offering no-cost assessments nationally to communities with contaminated sites. Through this assessment, municipal leaders learn more about whether sites of concern in their community are suitable for cleanup through phytoremediation.

  • EPA and regulator-approved
  • Up to 90% more cost-effective than traditional remediation approaches
  • 95% survival rate
  • 100 poplar trees can remove up to a million gallons of contaminated groundwater per year

A legacy of industrial contamination faces communities across the US. Hundreds of thousands of former gas stations, dry cleaners, landfills, and other decommissioned industrial facilities pose serious risks to public health.

By reducing the cost of remediation, phytoremediation can accelerate environmental cleanup and improve public health in communities across the country.

View brownfield sites and cleanups in your community with EPA’s Cleanups in My Community tool.

A short introductory video on Phytoremediation
Hear about a Phytoremediation project from Lenny Siegel, former Mayor and City Council member of Mountain View, California — a Tree City USA community.

Reach out to us today for more information or to schedule a meeting about using phytoremediation in your city.