Common Question: How to Water Behind Trees?

A couple days ago I was talking with a friend who moved into a new house late last year and will be putting a sprinkler system in over the next month.  He’s gotten a landscape architect to come up with a plan and now it’s down to designing the sprinklers around that.  He raised a question that we get frequently enough that we figured a short post would be helpful.

200281047-001His yard plan calls for shade trees to be planted at various spots and, for the next few years at least, these won’t be much of a problem to the sprinklers because they’ll be small.  But the question is what will this mean for the sprinklers as they grow? How does one water around trees and is it okay if sprinklers are behind the tree?

The answer is that nothing needs to be done differently in planning your sprinklers (with a caveat).  Assuming you’re yard has correct head-to-head coverage, the grass is getting plenty of water, so obstructions from one angle aren’t really a problem.