I just had irrigation installed with sprinklers.

I am concerned that some of the sprinklers are about 6 feet away from the trunk of main trees that need major irrigation. ( called oriental arborvitae Platycladus ) . I have already lost couple of them due to dehydration.

Is that distance ok?

  • 1
    I usually think of sprinklers for lawns, flower beds, etc. But trees typically (at least in my area) have deep roots that can get plenty of water from the soil. Commented Jun 16 at 22:55
  • Does the water hit the trunk of the trees?
    – JACK
    Commented Jun 17 at 0:22
  • 3
    Distance is not as important as volume of water. Your trees may be dying because of something other than lack of water. Far more info is needed here.
    – RMDman
    Commented Jun 17 at 1:52
  • 1
    How do you know that you lost them due to dehydration and not something else? And if you do know it, why didn't you water them by hand?
    – jay613
    Commented Jun 17 at 2:24
  • 2
    I’m voting to close this question because it belongs on the Gardening Site Commented Jun 17 at 13:23

1 Answer 1

  1. Six feet, or any distance, is not necessarily "too far" for a sprinkler. It depends on the sprinkler's throw. Usually sprinklers are designed to overlap significantly. A rule of thumb I have seen is that each sprinkler should spray as far as its adjacent ones. If they do, it makes no difference how far apart they are. Your question should be: How was the system designed, was that design appropriate for your plants, and was it implemented as designed?
  2. Trees are not normally irrigated by sprinklers. Drip hoses are more normal. And depending on where you are, mature trees may not need irrigation. Again, you need to look at the design and determine how, and if, it was meant to irrigate your trees.
  • 1
    To expand on point two - sprinklers are great for watering things near the surface, but to provide significant water at the depth that a big tree requires, you are likely to need to saturate the surface far more than is good for it. In extreme conditions, you should consider placing a vertical pipe and filling it directly, so that the water goes deep enough.
    – MikeB
    Commented Jun 17 at 8:18
  • Tree roots generally extend about as far as the canopy covers, so any water thrown somewhere under the tree has good odds of being picked up by the tree
    – keshlam
    Commented Jun 17 at 14:58
  • Please note, it's not my intention to instruct OP or anyone on how to water their particular trees. Only to say a typical vanilla residential sprinkler system does not include significant formal design, it just follows installer rules of thumb to do a good enough job on lawns and flower beds.
    – jay613
    Commented Jun 17 at 15:28

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