What is a Tree Watering System?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A tree watering system is an irrigation system which has been customized for use with trees. Trees have some unique watering needs which can make traditional watering systems inappropriate, especially for people who are concerned about water usage. Using a system designed for use with trees can ensure that trees are healthier and stronger, because their watering needs are adequately met. Many nurseries carry tree watering systems in a wide variety of styles, including very affordable options for people who cannot afford to lay out large sums on irrigation systems.


Just like other plants, trees suffer if they are watered too much or not enough. Watering irregularities can be especially problematic when trees are young, because the root system may not be able to develop in a healthy way. Watering too much can kill the tree, and cause it to develop shallow, poorly-spread roots which will not serve the tree well in a drought and could make the tree unstable if the ground got soggy. Ideally, a root system should be deep and well extended, so that trees can draw water from the natural environment, reducing their demands for water as they grow.

Some tree watering systems simply soak the water around the tree. A soaker hose tree watering system, for example, delivers a steady trickle of water during an irrigation session. Other tree watering systems are designed to penetrate deeply, towards the roots of the tree. Watering deep in the roots reduces water usage because water is delivered where it is needed, and it can encourage deeper, stronger roots by delivering water below the surface.

As with other irrigation systems, a tree watering system can be programmed with a timer which determines the timing and duration of watering sessions. Sophisticated systems can also respond to ambient moisture and available water supplies to make adjustments to the available water as needed. The system can also deliver nutrition, if desired, which may be beneficial for gardeners managing a big garden who want to ensure that their trees get fed on schedule.

Some systems are designed to be largely invisible so that they can be left in place at all times. This type of tree watering system can be a good option for a big garden which cannot be watered by hand. Other systems are more visible, and gardeners tend to prefer to leave them out while in use, and put them away afterwards to keep the garden looking neat and tidy. This type of tree watering system can work very well for gardeners with the time to irrigate by hand.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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