Tree Irrigation

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Author
  • #152606
    Rory Knutsen

    What are the downsides to using gator bags and other above ground watering systems when an irrigation system can not be utilized?

    Tyson Carroll

    A down side is they do not get filled up on a regular basis which can affect establishment. If your climate has ample enough rain than may not be a problem. In the west and southwest the same cultural practices will lead to dead plants especially during the summer months which is why irrigation systems are utilized. 

    Barbara Peterson

    I like the use of gator bags…when they can be monitored.

    For example: last year, I installed them on around several trees at a property where someone had turned ‘off’ the irrigation system despite the severe summer drought. In addition to adjusting the system to it’s regular 2 week watering cycle (native plants), I added bags to the trees in distress (8) and filled them daily and then every other day for about 2 weeks. The benefit: the shrubs in the beds did not suffer due to the extra watering needed to save the trees (water was specifically applied where it needed), and I could add liquid nutrients to the bags.  The downside: time and ants….fire ants love pulling their mound up between the bags and the tree trunk – to alleviate this, I had to lift and “adjust” the bags each day and “hook” them on a low limb when they were not filled. Time: the filling and adjusting took just over an hour…..  (Yes, the trees made a quick comeback and are doing well this summer.)

    Jason T. Radice

    The bags that go around the tree trunk really tend to attract bugs of all types. And if not positioned properly, they can water too fast to the point of runoff (they are supposed to take hours). The other thing I don’t care for is that they tend to water in ONE SPOT, so the other side of the tree might not be getting water in windy or very dry locals or of the outlet is positioned on the downhill side of the root ball.  

    They also can damage the bark if the person filling it is not careful. I’ve seen lots of trees lately at a very large installation with these things that some of the trees have had bark damage and some of it rubbed of from both the wind and less than careful handling of the bag.

    Ernst Glaeser

    I had a close look on all the baggy watering systems. They look ugly, they are time consuming to fill, and they only work for newly planted trees and shrubs. The only system I can think off, when no shelf irrigation system can be installed or operated is a flood system. This spreads the water best to where it is needed, at the drip line of the plant. Stupid little watering rings around a trunk only lead to trunk rotting.

    Rob Halpern

    If they only water the transplanted root ball, rather than the soil surrounding it, they do not support establishment of the tree. They merely keep it from dying.


    One of the local review agencies in my area does not allow “grow bags” unless it is the only option available. Their issue is the human factor (not refilling the bags; not resetting them; etc) and fire ants (which in turn affect the humans!).  Generally, I think they are functional, but I do not have a fondness for them.

    Jordan Lockman

    They are a great very short term solution. Especially if you plant a tree in the hottest part of the year. Otherwise they feel really gimmicky.

    Davis Walker, PLA

    when I was in design build we used gator bags all the time. (we had I think over 500)

    they are time consuming to fill and can have a tendency to get holes in them.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Lost Password