What Is That? Oh, It’s a Treegator!

I noticed something strange in the yard of a church that I drive by regularly. They recently had some trees planted along the road and surrounding the base of each of the trees was a green bag. I had no idea what they were or what was their purpose. I thought it might be to protect the trees from being girdled by rodents, but that’s a problem in the winter, not in the spring. I was stumped (no pun intended!) as to what those green bags were.

A quick Google search answered my question. I typed “What are the green bags around trees” and my answer popped right up – Treegators.



A Treegator is a tree “irrigator.” It’s a bag that goes around the base of newly planted trees and is zipped closed. Once it’s around the trunk of the tree it can be filled with 20 gallons of water that’s slowly released through two holes in the bottom of the bag. According to the Treegator web site, it can take from 5-9 hours for the water to leave the bag. This slow watering ensures that the water doesn’t run off or evaporate; instead it soaks in deeply around the base of the tree. The bag needs to be filled once a week in order to keep the soil moist and help the tree get established.

My first thought was who needs a Treegator? Can’t you just make sure that you soak the ground thoroughly once a week? People have been planting trees without a Treegator for millenia – is it that important?

But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense, especially for landscapers, municipalities and for home owners with a less than green thumb.

One of the main problems when it comes to watering is that most people don’t water enough. They go out with a sprinkler, wet the top part of the soil and say they’ve watered. But this little bit of watering can cause more harm than good. If only the top of the soil is moist, most of a plant’s roots will stay in that top layer. This lead to the plant being especially susceptible to drought. Watering deeply helps the roots to grow down where they’re less affected by fluctuations in the soil moisture.

This is an issue with all plants but it’s especially the case with newly planted trees. How many homeowners will take the time to slowly water a transplanted tree? Not many! How many landscapers or townships will come out every week to water a new tree? Again, not many! What the Treegator does is provide a way to water a newly planted tree deeply and easily. Most people would be willing to go out once a week and spend a few minutes filling a bag with water. Even municipalities or landscapers could find the time/manpower to do that.

It’s such a simple idea but it solves the problem of watering newly planted trees. I don’t think I’ll ever buy a Treegator – I enjoy going out to a new tree and watering with a hose set at a slow dribble. But I know I’m the exception; most people wouldn’t want to spent the time. The Treegator solves that problem and make sure that the tree is watered deeply. What a simple but great idea.

And now I know what those green bags are – they’re Treegators!


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