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  1. #1
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    230

    Default Tree Irrigation

    I am trying to figure out a low labor, every expense spared, keep it simple method of watering several hundred trees I have planted. Some are as far away from the water source (river) as 1,000 feet.

    What I am thinking about is an above ground pipe or hose from the pump to a series of totes or barrels that would be set up with trickle lines. That way, I drive to the river, hook up my gas water pump and fill the tanks. If it takes two days for the water to drain, thats fine.

    The land slopes up from the river bank, with a total rise in elevation of about 25 feet over the 1,000 feet of distance. I'm wondering about what to use above ground. Concerns include burst strength, how to use gravity rather than fight it, what material will withstand UV, etc.

  2. #2
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    12,469
    Location
    Upper Midwest USA
    Tractor
    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: Tree Irrigation

    Over what period of time do you want to water these trees?
    And for how many years?

    Where are you located (no bio [img]/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]) ??

    When were the trees planted?

  3. #3
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    230

    Default Re: Tree Irrigation

    The trees are young, seedlings to four feet tall. They are growing in northeastern wisconsin. I expect to be doing this for years.

    I can get almost an unlimited supply of the cage tanks over time. I would put some kind of reservoir just outside the tank exit valve with multiple lines to the trees off that. The reservoir would serve to equalize water pressure to the various lines. One 250 gallon tank could serve up to 50 trees.

    I've been taking various routes home from work and scavenging used garden hose from the curb. The local salvage yard had used copper pipe that I will bend into a circle with about a 3 inch gap. I will crimp one end, drip some 3/16 holes in the copper, and clamp the old hose to the copper.

    My big question is do I need to pump from the river into a tank on a trailer, haul it to a tank, then pump it out? Or is it possible to do a cheap pipeline from the river to the tanks?

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,168
    Location
    New Hebron, MS
    Tractor
    MF 1455v 4wd, 1040FEL

    Default Re: Tree Irrigation

    I expect to be doing this for years.

    Are you planning to be watering these same trees for years, or use the system for others as you plant them in the future? I thought normal practice was to water weekly the first year if there was no rain and water the next two years during drouth. After that they should be able to fend for themselves.

    I've been using "drippers" that I bought at Lowe's with a 3 gallon per hour capacity for some of my irrigation. You use a tool similar to a golf tee (or a nail) to punch a hole in rolled poly pipe and force the dripper into the hole until it catches. You would probably have to pressurize the system for it to work though.

    I'm not watering as many trees as you're talking about. I have five 5-gallon buckets that I've drilled three 1/8" holes near to each other in the bottom of. I have a 55 gallon drum with a spigot in the bung and a 10' section of hose. Fill the drum and carry it in the FEL bucket. Place a bucket next to a tree with the drain holes next to the trunk and fill it from the drum. By the time I get through filling the last bucket it's about time to pick up one or two and move to the next trees. The buckets drain slow enough that the water soaks in around the tree. I do this weekly if we don't have rain, but only for trees I've planted this past fall/winter. After the first year I only water in extreme drouth.

  5. #5
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    230

    Default Re: Tree Irrigation

    Water tank set up.
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