Drip irrigation on an old lawn

Has anybody tried adapting drip irrigation techniques to established lawns containing mature trees?
There's considerable documentation on the Web for large-scale agricultural setups and _new_ lawn installations. All involve vigorous soil disruption, which _seems_ likely to do considerable harm to the trees' feeder roots.
It's tempting to try putting down small (quarter inch) dripline and either burying it just below the surface or stapling it to the surface. Burial requires root-intrusion-resistant emitters, but surface mount with staples, if it stays put under mowing and careful foot traffic, seems do-able.
If anyone has a tale to tell I'd be most interested to hear it.
Thanks for reading,
bob prohaska
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On Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 10:22:13 PM UTC-4, User Bp wrote:

You don't say where you are, but here in the Nj/NYC area typical mature trees don't need irrigation at all, unless it's a rare, extended drought. But if you need to irrigate, I don't see why drip won't work. You'd just have to run it longer to get better penetration than for some small plants. Another factor would be if there is space on the ground for it. Mature trees have large areas where the roots extend and in many cases that area could be lawn or similar that presents a drip irrigation problem. But I guess if it's lawn, you're probably watering that too.
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Apologies for the geographical oversight, I'm in Davis, CA, about 12 miles southwest of Sacramento. The sprinkler system works but is poorly laid out and wasteful. Soaker hoses on water meters work but they're labor intensive. What I'd like to do is connect driplines to (some of) the existing sprinkler risers. Burial will disrupt roots, surface will foul rakes and maybe mowers, along with feet.
I'm seeking the least of the weevils, so to speak 8-), balancing a desire for healthy trees, a not-unsightly lawn and a modicum of water (and labor and money!) efficiency.
Oh, one other issue: The lawn is gently sloped and the soil is mostly clay. The sprinklers deliver water too fast to avoid runoff. Given the new water usage reductions it's time for a new approach and surface or sub-surface drip looks promising. I am hoping to hear from folks who've done this drill before.
Thanks for reading!
bob prohaska
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