Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Install Drip Irrigation for Trees

By Jennifer Loucks ; Updated September 21, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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 Will Need

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

About the Author


Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.