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Irrigating an orchard questions  RSS feed

Posts: 1406
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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I'm wanting to do drip irrigation for a 4 tree deep line of trees. I'm going to planting it as a sort of hedge for pasture division. Nut trees in these only. I figure I'm going to need irrigation pipe in a line going up and then lines coming off of that to get to each tree. I'm just not sure what all I need to accomplish this. T fittings I imagine and individual emitters for each tree. Any other input? I think I'm going to be doing a swale in the middle and irrigation will be temporary and only as needed.

rough drawing demonstrating such.
[Thumbnail for Irrigation-drawing-estimate.jpg]
Posts: 4892
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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drip works

and drip depot

Are good places to check out for all the items you will need.

I usually set up pvc pipe to be the leader line then all the drip pipes come off that single run. My customers have liked this easy to set up and take down design. 

Posts: 80
Location: Washington State near lake tapps
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I would look at sprinkler heads, maybe 6" riser. Trees need water out near the drip line of the canopy. And I would use the flexible black poly way cheaper than PVC and less likely to break. I have tried many drip systems but it's too much trouble and expense. What I can cover with less than 100$ of parts using black poly pipe and fan, impact, or spinning sprinklers. The other option is look at setting soaker lines, run them about 3' from the trunk of the trees. And just loop it around in a single run looping around each run of trees. Watch the the pipe size in combination with quantity of sprinkler heads used. You need to have enough volume and pressure to supply them. Much harder with a dripper system. This is why almost all orchards still use sprinklers and not other systems. Easier to manager and repair, we desgined and installed 35acres of sprinklers on a orchard. In my home garden the drippers we're just too much work we now use 3 fan heads on riser and 2 impact. And that covers almost a 1/4 acre. I have been working trying to find a better way but the simplest systems, are still the best.
Posts: 944
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
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Are these on contour, gently sloped in one direction or on relatively flat terrain?

I don't know how well it would work for your Wyoming context, but I'm a huge fan of infrequent flood irrigation, but the topography has to be appropriate and you want the trees in shallow depressions with soil  that infiltrates water very well and decent drainage.
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