Tree Watering

Discussion in 'Fruit Trees' started by KSQ2, Aug 1, 2022.

  1. KSQ2

    KSQ2 Well-Known Member

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    As I’ve posted about quite a bit, we’re in the midst of the severe drought according to the drought map. We got a little less than an inch of rain this weekend, prior to that we hadn’t had significant rain in 53 days. We’ve already lost a kieffer pear that has been in the ground 5 years and was 12’ tall. We’re under a heat advisory today and the temps are supposed to be triple digits the next 3 days. How long should I wait to water trees at the Massey again? I’ve been watering every 4 days.
     
  2. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    Would those trees last any longer if you could put 6" of wood chips all the way out to the dripline? I don't know that I'd try it now mid-drought though. You may never get moisture to your soil with dry wood chips up above.
     
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  3. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    I would say a good thorough soaking once a week or every 10 days is better than a light watering more often.
     
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  4. KSQ2

    KSQ2 Well-Known Member

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    These are at the farm, I can’t baby these trees, and wood chips make me nervous about rodents. I do water in the evening to help prevent quick evaporation.
     
  5. KSQ2

    KSQ2 Well-Known Member

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    I’m carting water over in my jeep, 60 gallons at a time in jugs, it pretty exhausting. Thorough soaking just isn’t a real option. I used to try using feed tubs with a hole drilled in it, had too much trouble with the hole getting plugged though. It became more work than help.
     
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  6. catscratch

    catscratch Well-Known Member

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    Do you happen to know anyone on the volunteer fire department? Sometimes these guys in rural communities are willing to run a couple thousand gallons for training purposes or just to flush a tank. Might call some guys.
     
  7. KSQ2

    KSQ2 Well-Known Member

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    I’m actually on the Dearing department, but that’s a ways away. I might ask about the Havana crew, but our easement isn’t maintained the best, getting back to where the water is needed would be an issue for a tanker. Good thought tho!
     
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  8. Travis Aasen

    Travis Aasen Active Member

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    I've got 22 of those plugged up buckets with the holes drilled in them for my fruit trees. I've hit each hole with a slightly larger drill bit and the problem has gotten better.
     
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  9. M. R. Byrd

    M. R. Byrd Member

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    Have you considered constructing a guzzler to provide some water close to your trees that you could either dip out of or pump from?
     
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  10. KSQ2

    KSQ2 Well-Known Member

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    I’m not sure I follow you. A guzzler?
     
  11. buckdeer1

    buckdeer1 Well-Known Member

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    I have 40 or so buckets out on trees and water usually twice a week when this dry and have maybe 1 bucket a week not drain.
     
  12. catscratch

    catscratch Well-Known Member

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    If it's the same as what I know as a guzzler it's a low roof built at an angle to drip morning dew into a trough. See them out west where ks is much drier.
     
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  13. M. R. Byrd

    M. R. Byrd Member

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    Guzzler can be pretty simple. a couple pieces of old strongbarn tin on a wood frame, set on an angle like a lean to, with a gutter draining into a tank or barrel of some type , An oval stock tank would be easy to dip out of, or rig up a 12 volt pump or solar pump to pipe it to your trees. It will catch rainfall and dew. The bigger the roof area the more it will catch. Even in drought years in SEK you should catch quite a bit. Out here in arid SWKS our forefathers caught enough rainwater off the roof in a cistern for the family's drinking/cooking water and maybe a Saturday night bath.
     

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  14. M. R. Byrd

    M. R. Byrd Member

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    BTW, The Cimarron National Grasslands in extreme SWKS has 95 guzzlers to water the wildlife including bob white and scaled quail.
     
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  15. catscratch

    catscratch Well-Known Member

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    I've seen several of those on the Cimarron. Some of them reportedly go back to the dustbowl days. Ranchers were also putting them on private land to water wildlife and kept their cattle fenced off from them. I think they are super cool and tell a great story of conservation.
     
  16. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    When I plant a new bare root fruit tree I put about 2" thick 3/4" crushed stone around the base on top of the topsoil to keep the rodents away from the roots. But once the tree is several years old and well established I put a big circle of wood chips around the base, staying about 6" away from the trunk. My main orchard is in the rain shadow of a mountain in of the drier counties in Pennsylvania and I feel like drought is a bigger problem for my trees than rodents, and when I dig down through 6" of wood chips in dry weather it's still moist underneath.
    You lost 1 tree to drought, how many did you ever lose to rodents? Wood chips is probably one of the biggest easy things that you can do to drought proof your trees, maybe you could try several and see if rodents become an issue? And there's other ways to deal with rodents as well.
     
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  17. T-Max

    T-Max Well-Known Member

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  18. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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  19. George

    George Well-Known Member

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    Save your money T and buy a roll of black, breathable, weed control fabric.

    The fabric comes in rolls and is 36" wide. I cut a 36" square and then cut that into 4 18" squares. I cut a slit from one side to the center where I cut a cross to go around the stem. I then put a layer of river rock on top of the fabric.

    G
     
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