How to make a tree watering system.

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Albuquerque ranks third, after New Orleans and Houston, among cities with tree loss. Our trees are dying because they aren’t being watered properly or at all. How should we water established and mature trees?

To address this problem a landscape architect and a professional landscaper put together a Tree Watering Irrigation Kit that allows you to water established trees more deeply and consistently.

It’s easy for homeowners to assemble a similar kit that attaches to a hose spigot using the parts below, from left to right. 

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Start with a hose bib vacuum breaker, which prevents water from siphoning back into the potable water system. Next in line is a hose water timer that works like a kitchen timer, opening and closing a valve at a pre-set time. Instead of a hose water timer, consider using a WaterSense Smart Controller (a rebate is available for this controller). Attach a female-to-male hose swivel converter to the timer or controller. This converter allows you to pop on a pressure regulator that drops our city’s water pressure down to 30psi, which is the best pressure for a drip system. After the pressure regulator, attach an adapter that connects to the ½” inline dripline. The inline dripline comes with 1gph emitters that are spaced every twelve inches. This allows the water to drip consistently and efficiently directly into the ground, deeply soaking the roots of the tree.

Once you have your system installed, a good rule of thumb is to set up a 45-minute run time. To know how often to water, follow the Seasonal Watering Recommendations .

The end cap (pictured below) is installed at the end of the inline drip tubing. This can be opened to empty the line of water and prevent freezing.

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Author:  Jill Brown, ASLA. Landscape Architect and Owner of My Landscape Coach  with Carl Christianson, owner of Zone 7 Landscape .

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