Consulting Arborist Corner- Irrigation Irritations!

Irrigation Irritations!

Irrigation systems are a vital part of many landscapes. But an irrigation system can harm a tree if it isn’t installed with tree roots in mind. This goes for backflow devices as well. There are a few things you need to consider before you install an irrigation system or backflow device into your client’s landscape.

Tree roots aren’t as deep as many people might think they are. They’re generally only 2-3 feet below grade. Irrigation lines are installed 10-14 inches below grade. If irrigation lines are not installed with tree roots in mind, they could irreparably sever the roots of a tree. When installing an irrigation system, it is important to make sure you do not harm the tree’s roots.

Backflow devices may not be the most attractive facilities to have in the landscape, but it’s important to make sure they are installed with roots in mind as well. A lot of times a contractor will attempt to hide the backflow device by placing it closer to a tree, but by doing this they may cut the roots causing stress to the tree.

Stand pipe near a beech tree!

Ken Barthuly of Barthuly Irrigation says, “If possible backflow devices should be installed near the foundation of the home or business, so that the installation of the lines will not disturb the roots of trees.”

When planning an irrigation system for a client, visit the property and clearly mark and measure the drip line of trees on the site plan. Then as you plan the installation, route the lines outside the drip line and retrofit the heads to reach areas under the tree.

Plan the system installation with trees in mind and your client will be happy in the end, and so will the trees!

“Consulting Arborist Corner” is brought to you by Jud Scott a Registered Consulting Arborist. As a Consulting Arborist, Jud is available to assist you with tree care and tree conflicts that may arise.

~ by daniel on December 12, 2010.

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