I am going to plant about 30 5-gal trees which means their small. Maybe 5
foot tall and only about an inch in diameter. Anyway I don't want to put a
well around them so would I go with a 1/2" drip line which are standards for
a drip system and 1/2" soaker hose which I would cut in 6 foot sections and
rap it around each tree which would give me about a 2 foot diameter. (Is
that too big?) I would plant it about 2 or 3 inches under the ground or lawn
and hook them together like you would a regular drip system. Am I on the
Starting out, I would wrap them twice until they grow some. Build the
system so that in a couple of years you can modify it to wrap the trees
again with the modifications you need at that time.
When you start the system up for the first time, check the end tree after 15
min, 30 min, and so on until you determine it has received enough water.
Then you will know how long to leave it run from that point on. You don't
want to over water them. Find out how much water per week that kind of
trees will need, and set up a watering schedule to meet those requirements.
I would run the soaker hose in 2 parallel lines on the outside edge of the row
outside the drip line. dont bury it, put it under the mulch. use a Y splitter
then just keep adding soakers til you got the length you need. Ingrid
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Zone 5 next to Lake Michigan
I'm not sure what your saying? There won't be any mulch. That's why the
soakers which will be bury under the grass. I don't understand the two
parallel lines but I shouldn't need the Y splitter because I'm running the
drip hose into both ends of the 6 foot soaker hose which is rap around the
tree then the drip hose will be running to the other tree which again will
lead into another 6 foot soaker hose. I'm trying to set this up as a regular
drip system, but instead of using 1 to 15 gallon drippers, I'm using a
soaker hose. Could you explain better please.
You really need to consider a lot of factors you are neglecting.
First, do not skimp on mulching. Mulch will help retain moisture so
the trees will not dry out so fast in hot weather. It will decay into
the soil, feeding the ecosystem and reducing compaction. And it will
keep weeds and grass away from the tree trunks, reducing competition
and eliminating the temptation to hit the trunks with a weedeater.
Getting new trees established will require different watering
parameters than the established trees will. The container soil will
probably drain much better than the native soil, so the original root
balls will tend to dry out before the soil that won't contain any
roots (yet). At the beginning, short bursts of water once or twice a
day will go a long way toward transplant success. This would begin to
taper off after a week or so, while the range of the irrigation should
expand. Without creating a swamp, you want to get the surrounding
soil moist so it will be habitable to the new roots. You really need
to get down into the soil with a finger to see how deep the water is
penetrating; make sure deep soil gets moist, but don't water if soil
is still wet from last time.
Eventually, after the trees are established, you will probably need to
encompass a much wider range than you are considering. I can't make
specific recommendations without knowing more about the site and
species, but a tree's root system typically exists in a wide, flat mat
spreading 2-3 times the tree's height and mostly staying in the top
12-24 inches of soil. Deeper roots will exist, but they will be
mainly anchors; the feeder roots are close to the surface. For a
large tree, a soaker hose around the trunk will have very little
effect. You need to water the whole yard deeply and infrequently (an
inch a week is commonly suggested).
you didn't ask for planting tips, but here's one anyway. Most
container-grown trees are planted too deeply. The nursery tends to
add soil when repotting, then the consumer plants even deeper. This
causes trees to suffer and perform poorly. It is absolutely critical
that the primary trunk flares are exposed to open air. When planting,
make sure to locate these flares and remove any excess soil to expose
them. Then plant the root ball a little higher than grade. There may
be settling after transplant that would lead to an at-grade planting
being too deep later on. Even if this does not happen, studies show
that too high is better than too low, and at least as good (often
better) than at grade. When you add the mulch, you still need to
maintain that exposed crown. A thick mat of mulch should cover the
area around the trunk, but no mulch should be piled against the base
of the tree--one more reason to plant high.
ISA Certified Arborist #TX-0236AT
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