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Mobile Tree Watering?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by eskals, Jun 5, 2001.

  1. eskals

    eskals LawnSite Member
    Posts: 210

    I have been asked to water about 200+ trees located in non-irrigated areas. When it hasn't rained in a few weeks during the summer, they want me to go around and give all the trees a drink. I can get close to all of the trees with a small truck. Now, how should I go about doing this? I was thinking of buying a 150 gallon tank with an outlet on the bottom and using gravity to push the water thru a short length of hose. Is this a decent idea? I can't really think of any other way to get water to the trees other then to carry it myself.

    Any ideas?

  2. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Posts: 1,625

    What size truck do you have?
    If it's a 3/4 ton pick up or bigger then you can get a 450 gallon water tank that fits between the wheel wells, and a small gas pump will make it go much faster, don't count on gravity working very well.
  3. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,579

    Paul is correct.. honda pumps...very dependable..also consider a deep root watering attachment for those trees. Small fortune to be made in this drought we are having here.
  4. eskals

    eskals LawnSite Member
    Posts: 210

    I only have a Ranger, so now huge tanks for me. Although, I could use my trailer for the tank. The area can be reached with a pickup and trailer.

    I really need to get some larger equipment, like a 1 ton pickup.

    Now that I think about it a little more, how much do you think it would cost to set up a rig for deep root watering?

  5. greens1

    greens1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 352

    Remember 1gal of water is 8.3 pounds. That means if you fill up a 150 gal tank you will be loading 1,245 pounds into the back of your ranger. In the intrest of your wheel berrings you may want to use your trailer.

    Anouther thing to consider is a hydrant meter, so you can fill your tank from the nearest fire hydrant, beats waiting for 150 gal to fill with a garden hose and then transporting it.

    The main problem with watering 200 trees is not getting the water on the ground, but rather through the ground to where the tree roots can make use of it. If you wait for the weather to turn the ground into hardpan then when you put down the water it will simply runoff to the lowest spot.

    Tree bags are ideal for this kind of a situation, however 200 tree bags could get a little pricey. I would, at least, use a surfactant when you put down the water. Usually one surfactant application will last 4-6 weeks.

    One last word of advice is watch your time allocation on this job. Figureing watering can be trickey, especally when you are talking about 200 trees at X gal\tree. I would guess at least 10 gal/tree which leaves you 15 trees/tankfull before you have to go back and refill. This type of work can really wear on your equiptment, and your nerves.

    Good Luck,
    Jim L
  6. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,361

    We use a combination of tanks and hydrant meters with hoses for various job sites. I agree that Gator bags would be very helpful and let you space out the waterings a little more. We tend to send the lowest-paid guys to do this work. Don't be afraid to charge a decent price for this work or you may regret taking it on.
  7. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,579

    Another thing to consider....sub this out to a company with a tandem and the right equipment... add 20% and take care of the paperwork and phone calls
  8. Andrew Hardscape

    Andrew Hardscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 37

    :laugh: Years ago when I was first starting out and didn't have a heavy enough truck as well as a tank I subbed this out to a swimming pool water delivery company. In our case it worked out very well.

    And as Paul said do not count on gravity for the water to flow. I've done that, talk about slow!
  9. Avery

    Avery LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,389

    200+ trees! That is ALOT of watering. Unless you have time to burn I would consider subing the job out to a hydro seeding company. They have the large tanks/trucks to do the job quickly.
  10. eskals

    eskals LawnSite Member
    Posts: 210

    Thanks for the ideas.

    I am going to look into subbing this out, so i'll check with the pool and hydro seeding companies. It should only have to be done two or at most three times this summer, so I may end up doing this myself. I will try to do it T&M. It might be a good fill in job, who knows.


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