Planning to add a new tree or trees to your landscape? For extra shade in a few years? Flowers in spring? A focal point in your garden? Or maybe to green up your sidewalk area?
Newly planted trees need regular watering until they are established. Hand watering is fine, especially if you enjoy a weekly, zen task. It’s best to water your new trees slowly, and not with the hose on full blast.
If that isn’t the case, and you don’t have the time, or an automatic watering system, there is a good solution.
The Treegator®, is a slow release watering bag that wraps around the tree. I am seeing more and more of the these big green bags lately, on the city’s recently planted street trees, thanks to Friends of the Urban Forest. The Treegator is made out of a tough, UV stabilized, polyethylene plastic and has a 5 year limited warranty. Perfect, because after that, your tree should be established and won’t need the bag.
How to Use the Treegator
It’s pretty simple set up your Treegator – you just smooth out the wrinkles after removing it from the package, wrap it around the trunk of your newly planted tree, zip it up and fill with water. The Treegator original holds 20 gallons and the Treegator Jr holds 15 gallons. Depending on the texture and moisture content of your soil, the bag will take 4 to 9 or potentially more hours to drain.
The water drains slowly so is able to penetrate deep into the soil and not just run off. The is what a newly planted tree needs to help it overcome transplant shock. Plus, depending on the diameter of your new trees and its water requirements, you’ll only need to refill the bag once or twice a week. And these bags are also a great companion if you’re watering with ollas, since ollas are not recommended for use around woody, rooted trees. Plus the cost is much lighter compared to installing an entire irrigation system – they are only about $16 – $23 a bag.
A few things of note when using the Treegator – if you live in a cold climate, you’ll want to remove you Treegator from around your tree, empty it and store it for the season, this product does not handle freezing cold temperatures. Also, if you have a tree with a fatter diameter than one bag can reach, you can zip two bags together. After a few years of using this product, your tree will have an established root system and will no longer need the tree gator.
- cost per bag is under $25
- very easy to set up
- the best way to water newly planted trees
Also, if you are planning to use a Treegator, check out this great tip from Amazon user who is also a Tree Specialist: Rotate the bag off-on every couple weeks to let the trunk get some sun and airflow. This will prevent mold from taking hold on the trunk or bugs nesting.