Questions On Best Irrigation Setup For Trees



I had a irrigation landscape question. Is it better to use drip emitters for tree’s when using the Rachio or something like a bubbler ? Today I have 5 GPH emitters on each tree just running a length of 1/4" off of it and am considering either turning these into larger emitters (10,12,18 GPH etc) and creating a tree ring with drip line, or just adding 2 to 3 more 5 GPH emitters around the tree. Wondered what all of you would recommend for this setup.

Also, today I have tree’s and shrubs on the same zone (looking to try and create another zone in to separate tree’s off) all of which are on drip irrigation with the difference being 2GPH for shrubs and the 5’s for trees so wondering what the best setup of vegetation (select trees instead of shrubs etc) and emitter config would be while this is still a shared zone ?




I think it depends on the tree. I attended an irrigation seminar hosted by my city and the irrigation specialist was ok with drip emitter for trees that were desert adapted (I live in AZ). But for citrus trees he recommended using bubblers with a basin to collect the water. He stated that if we were looking to get good yield from the tree the number of gallons required at full size would either require a ton of emitters or would require extremely long run times. So I guess if you have fruit trees and want to have good fruit production then bubblers is the way to go. Otherwise drips should be ok.


In my experience, bubblers are the better way to go. Drip is such a mess. Go with the fixed flow bubbler, like .25 or .50 gpm. Everyone will have an opinion. I am in Oklahoma so I don’t live in a desert. Once the trees are established you can turn off the bubblers. Just make sure you do not mix drip and sprays on the same zone. Probably can get away with mixing bubblers and sprays, though not ideal.


If you go with drip, use Netafim, Toro or Rain Bird drip with inline pressure compensating emitters. The emitters are spaced 12 inches apart. If you have clay soil use .4 or .6 gph. You can make a tree ring. Find drip design on the manufacturer websites. Still I much more prefer bubblers.