Trees are often one of the most expensive landscape investments that both residential and commercial sites make. Unfortunately, up to 20 percent of newly transplanted trees do not survive beyond two years due to water stress, poor drainage or a lack of oxygen in the root zone. Now, Rain Bird is making it easier for landscape and irrigation professionals to improve tree survival rates by offering newly enhanced 18- and 36-inch models of its Root Watering Series (RWS).
According to Dr. Ursula Schuch, plant scientist and researcher for the University of Arizona’s School of Plant Sciences, the RWS is effective in getting trees established, protecting expensive tree investments. “After conducting a 13-month study which compared the RWS to typical surface irrigation, I can say that using it can help grow new roots faster and support successful tree establishment,” said Dr. Schuch. “This period is critical for plants to get a good start in the landscape. Not only does it help trees survive, it can also minimize the amount of water lost to run-off or evaporation.”
“The RWS was specifically designed to deliver water, oxygen and nutrients to tree root balls and their surrounding soil to encourage faster, deeper root growth and reduce transplant shock,” said Rick Foster, senior product manager for Rain Bird’s Accessories Group. “We’ve made some changes to these particular models that make them even more effective and easier to install.”
The RWS continues to feature durable, patented basket weave canisters installed at grade, enabling below-ground irrigation for faster and deeper root growth while reducing water lost to evaporation and run-off. Now, the 18” and 36” models feature a redesigned top assembly with integrated clips for tool-free grate installation. The robust new design protects against vandalism and includes grate ports for sub-surface routing of ¼” XQ Distribution Tubing. A recessed stem also allows for the use of Rain Bird’s EMT-6XERI six-outlet drip manifold device, making it possible to irrigate the host RWS unit, other RWS units or even provide surface irrigation to other trees or plants nearby.
“The drip distribution option creates greater design flexibility,” Foster said. “It also lowers materials and installation costs by eliminating the need for a separate subterranean emitter box. The new design also enables the use of Rain Bird’s Drip System Operation Indicator, allowing contractors and end users to feel confident that their RWS zones are operating correctly.”
For easier installation in non-drip applications, Rain Bird has moved the lateral line inlet to a point 6” below grade, placing it on the same level as existing side-inlet sprays and rotors. An integrated perimeter water distribution feature allows water to flow down along the basket weave canister’s surface, enabling the soil along the length of the canister to absorb some of the irrigation water.