A better way to water trees

4 min read

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This is embarrassing. We’ve been using a combination of a few simple devices as a very reliable way to water some trees we planted last summer, and today I decided I’d provide a few details about the products. But, when I went to Amazon to grab a link for the primary part of the solution, it’s no longer for sale! On it’s own, that’s not too surprising as resellers come and go seemingly every hour on Amazon. This one however is because the small company (person) making them has retired and has stopped making them. 😒

Over the years, we’ve tried a lot of different ways to water new trees and bushes. So many failed miserably. From those large and small tree watering bags (thanks for the leaks!) to just the plain hose end. The key to watering trees is generally go slow — so that water can saturate the roots.

The breakthrough for us in convenience and reliability was the discovery (and subsequent purchase) of this: Waterhoop.

The Waterhoop

It’s not complex, but that’s what has worked so well for us. Once connected to a common hose and the spigot is turned on, you control the water volume directly on the hoop (so no walking back and forth to the spigot to get it “just right”). Water drains or sprays (depending on volume) through a series of small holes around the hoop ends. And, that’s it. As it’s flexible, it adjusts to a variety of situations. Having local control is brilliant — it’s such a simple feature that saves time!

As we live in a suburban neighborhood now, the water pressure changes during the day. Before we had this combination, we’d set up a hose at the base of a newly planted tree, set a timer for an hour, get the flow just right … and return an hour later to find that the water was just dribbling out, nothing like we’d originally set it. Now, with the simple flow adjuster at the end, we can be assured that the water amount we want will be the amount an hour later (as we turn the flow up at the spigot far beyond what we actually need as it’s now regulated near the target rather than the source).

While setting a timer on a phone, smartwatch, etc., works, it’s been even more useful to put a mechanical timer at the end of the hose, again right near the target. So, we can set it for 60 minutes, and not be concerned that we’ll over-water if we forget to go immediately out when a timer signals. We’ve had digital timers on the source end, and frankly, they’re more than we needed for this, and not needing a battery has been great too!

Orbit Mechanical Timer

The Orbit Mechanical Watering Hose Timer has performed flawlessly for us. By moving it to the end of the hose, we can quickly set the timer, adjust flow as needed (with the flow adjustment on the Waterhoop), and be done with it.

While these things may seem unnecessary (and truly are), they’ve been a big time saver for us as we were watering weekly, and more importantly, we were able to control the amount of water far more precisely than before.

Overall, I’d totally recommend both of these if you’re watering trees, bushes, etc.

OK, but I know — the Waterhoop isn’t available anymore. I’d picked the Waterhoop because of the very good reviews and the fact that it was made in the USA. Instead, if I couldn’t make one myself (I’d try!), I’d switch to using a soaker hose for trees with a few tweaks. I’d either get rid of the “Y” part or make it a quick connect on one end with a product like the Eden Quick Connect. That way, it would be a snap to remove it from one tree and move it to another. If I wasn’t concerned about a “true” loop, then I’d use a hose end cap. I usually have a few of those around. It’s possible that the drip of these would be slower than I’d need for our soil, so I’d carefully make a series of very small punctures around the hose to increase the drip speed. It probably wouldn’t matter much, but rather than having two potentially fiddly valves on the “Y” adapter, I’d add an independent coupler with flow control.