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The LEAF Network is a community-based organization with the mission to link people with the benefits of edible trees and support edible trees with people’s stewardship.

Water Supplies, Introduction​

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​You cannot grow trees without water. Many native edible trees—if properly placed—can grow on rainfall alone once they are established in suitable locations. However, nonnative fruit and nut trees will require consistent, deep watering to produce quality fruit. Use a combination of native and nonnative edible trees to balance water demands and give you a diverse harvest. At the same time, use a diversity of water supplies to increase the resilience of your edible trees. ​

​Rain falls freely on your site (the term “rain” is used here to include rainfall, snowfall, sleet and other forms of precipitation). Other potential water supplies for your site include graywater, air conditioning condensate, and stormwater. Stormwater is rainfall runoff that has been collected in stormwater basins or flows into streets and is often ultimately discharged to stormdrains and streambeds. ​

​Once you have fully used free and available on-site water supplies and stormwater, potable water (drinking water) may be needed to supplement irrigation. Public and private water providers deliver potable water that originates as groundwater, surface water or imported canal water. Since off-site water sources could be subject to drought restrictions and lowering groundwater levels, make good use of on-site resources first so you have multiple water sources for your trees. Strategies to use on-site resources and stormwater are discussed in the following sections of the website. ​

Harvest water passively to capture and infiltrate water directly into the soil. 

​Harvest water in rainwater tanks to store supplemental rainwater beyond the rainy season. 

Harvest graywater to provide a reliable supply of water year round. 

​Harvest air conditioning condensate to help support edible trees, especially during hot, humid months. ​

​Harvest stormwater to help support trees located in and near areas where stormwater is accumulated in large basins, streets and other areas where rainwater runoff is concentrated. 

Develop Your Water Resources Strategy to make full use of free on-site water supplies and any additional supplies you will need to support edible trees as they grow to maturity.

Copyright 2022

LEAF is under the fiduciary stewardship of the Arizona Community Tree Council, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

70 S Val Vista Drive, Suite A3-186, Gilbert, AZ  85296


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