My setup for watering outlying trees

camp10July 16, 2012

The topic of watering trees that are outside the reach of hoses came up in the "Worst Year Ever?" thread. I wanted to share my setup.

It's an old horse watering trough, a couple of pvc fittings from Home Depot (with a shutoff valve), and a piece of old hose.


-Pretty cheap setup, esp if you can find a used horse tank.

-Light, so I can easily get it in/out of the truck.

-Hose is long enough to water a few trees before I need to move the truck.


-Only holds 80 gallons. There are bigger tanks. I'm keeping my eye out for one.

-Gravity feed, so the flow is slow. It's a good thing, since the water will soak in better, but I'd like the job to go faster. I could replace the fittings with a bigger diameter.

-Lose some water that sloshes out by the time I get to the field. I could cut a piece of plywood or something to baffle the waves.

I've been using it every other weekend during this hot, dry summer.

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I like it! I can see the problem with it being slow- but might it be worthwhile to put in a duplicate drain and water two targets at once?

And if you can't find a larger tank mebbe you could put a pair in tandem.

Good luck,


    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 11:15PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

How far away are your trees form a water source?

If it works go with it.

I would wonder if putting a 5 gallon pail full of water with a slow drip would work around trees? Probably have to refill it every other day or something...who knows.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 11:27PM
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I do the 5 gallon pail thing from the figs trees on my parking strip. Drilled a 3/16" hole, takes 1.5-2 hours to drain. Usually fill it after one drain so 10 gallons every 7 days or so.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 12:02AM
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alan haigh

Put spigots on the base of 32 gallon trash cans, load up the truck with them but before filling up place in a 3MM trash bag liner and seal with electric tape after filling bag, leaving enough free tape to easily unwind. Also a few inches below the top of the can.

Pot growers used water beds.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 5:55AM
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"How far away are your trees form a water source?"

A couple hundred yards, maybe more.

We have a little farm, about 8 acres. I have trees planted around the perimeter to block the wind and screen the neighbors' houses.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 8:12AM
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if you shop craigslist or local auctions you will regularly see large plastic containers that are used to deliver soap to car washes. they already have large plumbing fittings and usually come on an aluminium pallet. I think they are 200 - 250 gallons or so. a full one would weigh a lot (maybe 1500 pounds) but you don't have to fill it all the way to use it.

around here they usually go for $50 - $100. I bought one but in 2 years haven't had to use it. I will this year if it doesn't rain today or tomorrow like it's supposed to.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 8:58AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)


I think I know a guy who has one of those for filling his watering "holes" (large buried plastic tubs) for the deer on his hunting land (work very well). They put it on a trailer and haul it around with an ATV.

Couple hundred yards is a lot of hose!

You've got to water if they are young trees. Not worth losing them and having to replant/start over.

Camp- Where abouts are you in Wisconsin? I'm by La Crosse and we were right on the edge of the MN we actually had over 3 inches of rain in June...but July has had less then 1/2 an inch... plus i'[m on sand soil which dries out so quickly.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 9:42AM
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"Camp- Where abouts are you in Wisconsin? "

Southern Dane county. We have been missed by every bit of rain. I've had 0.30" in the last seven weeks. That, and the heat, have burned up most of the crops in the fields around me.

But I have good soil! :)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 1:56PM
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