Both sides of our property have newly planted 6 foot arborvitaes planted. One side has about 55 and the other side has about 25 all spaced 2.5 feet from center in straight lines in a 5 foot wide bed that we are getting blown in mulch next week and will make sure the mulch doesn't touch the tree center.

We know drip irrigation is the way to go for the first year or two but from searching we don't see a clear answer on what type to get.

That is there are different widths 1/4 5/8 1/2 and so on.

Also there are soaker hoses with holes through out which will soak the whole path. This seems to make sense since it would encourage roots to spread out and we would weave in between each tree along the path.

Or there is the tubing where we would presumably cut a hole at each tree and have a device that would going into the ground for each tree which makes a lot less water waste but sounds like a lot of work and that may be worse for this time of tree setup anyway.

We also bought two timers to attach to the faucets on the outside of the house.

Does any one have recommendation on what size, type, setup to use? Will keep searching all the garden forums in the mean time to hopefully find an answer before going to Lowes or Home Depot. Thank you!

  • I'm not sure this system is available in the States, so hesitate to suggest it - do you have 'leaky pipe' porous hose watering systems available? This a sort of fibrous hose which seeps water, buried in the ground, connected up to water supply... very useful in areas where you don't intend to keep digging
    – Bamboo
    Sep 13, 2014 at 13:25
  • @Bamboo we do have them.
    – J. Musser
    Sep 13, 2014 at 13:52
  • In that case, I'd definitely go for leaky pipe - might be what you're calling 'soaker hose', cchiera. Buried a little way under the soil, snaked between the rootballs, with mulch on top to conserve water means water at the roots, right where you need it, with little moisture loss.
    – Bamboo
    Sep 13, 2014 at 16:26
  • Yes, we have soaker hoses which is a hose which soaks/drips water everywhere rather than at predefined/spaced hoses. Just about everywhere I've read and the local nurserys and chains such as Home Deport and Lowes always say not to burry them underground since they can get clogged, eaten by animals and other problems. They do make kinds mean to be put under ground but suffer from a lot of the same problems. Sep 13, 2014 at 18:57
  • So the question still is to use a Soaker hose (on top of the mulch) or drip irrigation with a single emmitter for each root ball, to save an incredible amount of water and far easier to repair. The down side being the higher cost and that with a soaker presumably the water is more spread out causing the roots to spread more out. Sep 13, 2014 at 18:59

1 Answer 1


Following comments above - I'd use proper leaky pipe, not a soaker hose, that is, the greyish fibrous looking pipe that's meant to be buried 3 inches below the soil level. These don't get clogged because they don't have holes which drip as such, they seep into the soil along the entire length. The drawback is if you frequently want to dig the area or plant other stuff, when it's a pain because you inevitably damage it when turning the soil. In your circumstances though, seems unlikely you'll want to do that, and it's the most efficient way of getting water to the roots. A mulch can be placed on top to a depth of 2 inches which will help keep the moisture in anyway, but also won't mean any water being supplied has to penetrate through the mulch to get to the roots - it's already below that level. Any kind of drip system on top of the soil won't be as efficient through a mulch.

In my experience (in the UK), it's also much cheaper to buy leaky pipe from a specialist supplier rather than places like your Home Depot (I'm guessing that's some kind of DIY chain) or Amazon - you can order the exact lengths and fittings you need rather than having to buy what the store sells.

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