How to Install Drip Irrigation for Trees


Installing a drip irrigation system around trees is environmentally wise for water conservation. A drip system is installed to slowly release water directly into the ground through a series of hoses with many holes. There is very little water loss from evaporation as the water absorbs into the ground without spraying through the air. The components needed for a drip system are available at most home or garden supply stores and can be easily installed by the average do-it-yourself handyman.

Step 1

Purchase drip tubing in the desired length to cover the area needing watering. Purchase a drip irrigation kit that includes a vacuum breaker, pressure regulator and filter if it is not included with the tubing. Drip tubing and accessories are available for purchase at home supply and garden supply stores.

Step 2

Connect a vacuum breaker on top of the pressure regulator, followed by the filter and hose swivel. Connect the entire unit to a garden hose that is attached it to a length of drip tubing. Make sure the garden hose is long enough to reach from the connection to the start of the watering area.

Step 3

Lay the tubing so it circles around the trees and covers the ground area equal to half of the tree-canopy size. Add more tubing lengths if needed to cover the entire tree area. Keep the tubing lines 12 inches apart when laying it out.

Step 4

Place drip emitters on the tubing at a space of 18 to 24 inches. The drip emitters will come with barbed connectors that attach them to the tube.

Step 5

Secure the drip tubing to the ground using plastic ground stakes. Hook the stake over the tubing and push into the ground.

Step 6

Cut the end of tubing once it is in place around the trees. Flush the line by turning on the water. Place a 1/2-inch clamp over the open end, fold the tubing over and clamp over top to close the tube.

Step 7

Verify all tubing connections are tight and not leaking---and all emitters on the tube are facing upwards and not blocked. Cover the tubing with 2 inches of mulch to increase moisture retention.

Things You'll Need

  • Drip tubing with drip emitters
  • Garden hose
  • Vacuum breaker
  • Pressure regulator
  • Hose filter
  • Ground stakes
  • Sharp scissors
  • Clamp, 1/2-inch
  • Mulch


  • University of Rhode Island: Drip Irrigation
  • Colorado State University Extension: Drip Irrigation for Home
  • This Old House: How to Install Drip Irrigation
Keywords: install drip irrigation, install tree irrigation, slow watering trees

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.