Watering trees beyond hose reach

Discussion in 'Plants: Science and Cultivation' started by dt-van, Jul 4, 2009.

  1. dt-van

    dt-van Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    Vancouver has had many dry spells the last few years, stressing young street trees. Not far from my house but beyond reach of my 3 hoses is a Stewartia whose leaves look like potato chips; it's still alive, and its older brothers got past that stage. If I dumped a bucket of water on it, most of it would run off into the street.

    The Vancouver Parks website vancouver.ca/parks/trees/treebro1.htm recommends slow watering twice a week, but their watering truck cannot come that often. I use a 5 gallon pail, and around 33" of 1/8" tubing (23 liters, 80cm, 3mm inner diameter) which I got from a hardware store.
    The siphon tubing needs a weight at both ends - for example a large nail, attached with wire. With that small size of tubing, the pail takes 3 hours to empty, so the water goes deep, instead of spreading near the surface where it would run off, evaporate faster and encourage shallow roots.

    I can't carry that weight, but my car can. 2 half-full buckets are easier to manage, and less likely to splash.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,755
    Likes Received:
    578
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Deficient precipitation in summer normal in this region. Watering frequency a factor of weather, soil texture and type of plant. Different planting sites and different kinds of trees require different watering frequencies. Stewartia species are always wet summer climate adapted, making them a poor choice for a place where watering is a bother. If not kept moist throughout summer - either through consistent irrigation or placement on a site with retentive soil and shaded root zones - or all three - these can actually die in our climate.

    Even when long-established.

    Too thirsty. If you have a moist woodland garden, they can be superb small trees. Too many are planted in hot, exposed, sunny sites. This can work if they are mulched, and get some watering, or are in water-rententive soil. In the past this was a rare collector's item; now everyone wants one. But most of us lack ideal conditions for them

    http://www.arthurleej.com/a-overplanted.html

    In the last newsletter I argued against certain trees that I deemed overplanted in Seattle. The following is a list of 20 trees that I am promoting. My goal is to encourage as much diversity as possible, but our dry summers make it difficult for many species to thrive unless they are watered. Most of the following trees, once established, are likely to perform adequately without being watered. Of course, this will vary according to the exposure, soil condition, and mulching

    http://www.arthurleej.com/a-Trees of merit.html
     
  3. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    3,254
    Likes Received:
    224
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Sure, this is a gizmo---but I can say it does seem to work. Recently, a local real-estate company that owns a couple of nearby shopping centers renovated their parking lots. Repaved and put in new flower-bed-containing islands here and there. These islands include daylilies and petunias, and trees. I noticed that the base of each tree was contained in what looked like a green plastic bag. On closer inspection these proved to be a product called Treegator. All I can say is that every tree at both shopping centers has not only survived, but thrived.

    http://www.treegator.com/home/index.html
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,755
    Likes Received:
    578
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Those are in use on Seattle streets as well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2009
  5. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    692
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    gulf island, bc, canada
    I've had success with leftover restaurant veg. oil containers (plastic, about 5 gallon sized...), cleaned of oil residue, with a drip emitter stuck in the bottom. Cheap, effective, no siphon, and enclosed. Differing emitter sizes will allow you to adjust the flow rate.
     
  6. dt-van

    dt-van Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    The watering bags or rings look like a great solution for some locations, but here in Vancouver I suspect that such fancy gizmos would quickly disapper if left at the base of street trees. Unlike the orignal "siphon-bucket" posting they also look like they would also be hard to fill in-situ without a hose or pumper truck and awkward to fill remotely and transport. The restaurant oil container/dripper looks like another good alternative for remote sites.
     
  7. growing4it

    growing4it Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    vancouver to langley, bc
    That so wonderful that you would water the street trees. They need all the hlp they can get and municipal resources are stretched thin. I use 4L juice containers with handles to carry water to trees. Plastic milk jugs would probably work too.

    May I suggest that the if the water runs off and isn't absorbed, it's because there's a dry soil crust on the surface. Perhaps breaking the crust would help. Pouring the water slowly and shaping a shallow 'dish' in the soil/bark mulch would help to hold the water. Since you'd be working soil on the boulevard use tools and gloves (beward of dogs!!!)
     
  8. sgbotsford

    sgbotsford Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Rural Edmonton Alberta area, Canada
    Method 1. You can get an attachment to fit a male hose end to a pail or barrel. Try Lee Valley, or most brewing/wine supply stores. Then you can attach a soaker hose to that.If you want to leave the bucket there semi-permanently, put rocks in the bottom of it. This will keep the wind from taking it away.

    Method 2. Take a plastic pail, and punch 4 holes 1 inch from the bottom. Insert 4 flag emmiters. (They're cheap and can be taken apart for cleaning.) This will take about 2 hours to drain a 5 gal bucket. Don't use pressure compensating drippers. They don't work well at low pressure.

    Method 3. Drill a 3/8" hole in the side of a pail. Stuff with a sponge. This doesn't clog as easily as a nail hole or emitter.

    Method 4. Buy another chunk of hose.

    Method 5. Using either hose or poly pipe, put a hose bib close enough to the street to use to water the tree. Black poly pipe is cheap. You can run it on or just under the surface. I have several thousand feet of it at my tree farm. I don't bother to do much more than open the taps to winterize it, although I do make sure that I have drain valves at the low spots.
     

Share This Page