So my aunt recently underwent some surgery and it's not at her best to continue watering her backyard. Majority of it does have some irrigation in the front yard but in the back she has a 15 foot persimmon tree.

I was thinking of somehow installing a drip irrigation system around the trunk so that I could bi-weekly fill a container up with water and have it slowly drip and water the tree throughout the weeks. I thinkvshe can manage to fill up the container but the act of standing out there to use the hose to water might be a bit beyond her.

I was thinking of taking a 32 gallon trash and setting up some drip irrigation tubing and running it around the trunk so it reached the roots. I read up a little on this and they said I'd need to add a filter to ensure nothing clogs the lines, and a valve so I can turn it off if needed. They also said I should cover the roots with mulch or wood chips to trwp the moisture in.

I've attached some photos of the tree roots and would love some feedback, I'm not very gardening experienced so any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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2 Answers 2


Please take this comment-as-answer with bags of salt. I am a random city kid who thinks he knows stuff.

Those roots are wood-ified(whatever the term is). The exposed portion does not, and I imagine never will act as a root. Thus covering them is pointless unless You find it more aesthetically appealing.

Here's an idea but I don't claim it's reasonable!

Set up a hose or pipes system, reaching the tree. The care-taker of the tree needs to only flip a valve lever to enable/disable water flow. The valve can be in the house or next to the tree.

Btw is rain really insufficient? Are there symptoms the tree's drying out?

On the comment:

As someone commented, the soil looks like sand - the opposite of the packed clay You say You have - so the clarification is priceless.

Again two silly ideas.

Rake the top several centimeters of soil. It will kill some roots but the increased water AND air permeability will be worth it.

If the low stone fence around the tree, if completed to a full circle, could hold the pooled water and prevent it from running off.

But yeah, drip sounds far better considering everything.

  • Thanks for the answer! So that is what my family does when they visit, they toss the hose at the base and turn it on for 5ish minutes the issue is the water will consolidate in one location and then just kind of run off into other parts of the yard so it will only water just one side or area of the tree and since the ground is hard packed and not really soil it doesn't seep in like you would expect. Sadly I live in Southern California, rain doesn't exist here. The branches are brittle and the fruit is a lot smaller and less tastier then years past where she was able to water it more Dec 5, 2022 at 18:53

Wow, looks like pure sand, not soil.

In general constant drip may risk too much water applied, at least with a standard drip system.

If you search on tree drip bag you'll find products that do more-or-less in one step what you propose to do with several parts. They are generally used to help new trees get established, but no reason you couldn't use one on an established smallish tree.

  • I'll look into a tree drip bag more, I originally thought it didn't last that long (like 8 hours)? So it would need refilling quite often more than having a large container thenrrips very slowly over a longer period? Nov 7, 2022 at 4:48
  • Also in addition it's not soil, I'm not sure if it's sand or if it's resll6 hard packed and dried dirt. Nov 7, 2022 at 4:48
  • First two results I find say "up to two weeks" for one and "5-7 days" for the second. Their typical use case is where trees are planted and daily watering is cost/labor prohibitive.
    – Ecnerwal
    Nov 8, 2022 at 15:43

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