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Tree moat digging machine need help Answered

I am needing to dig tree moats around 150 trees in an orchard. We use flood irrigation to water them. Each tree has a sprinkler head. I am needing to build a moat around each tree to keep the water near the roots. As of right now we are forced to use a hand hoe to make them. On some spots i have to use a shovel to break the soil up before I can use the hoe to make the moat.

Does anyone have any ideas on a machine or better process to make them? What came to mind was a trench machine or some kind of disc harrow. The problem with the trencher i see is they are made to go forward and not side to side.

The moat are not that deep maybe 5-7 in deep.

A photo of one i dug by hand as an example.


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Jack A Lopez
Jack A Lopez

1 year ago

Are you familiar with the legends of Voltron, or of King Arthur and his knights?

The reason I ask, is because what I had in mind, borrows some elements from both those stories.

You see, Voltron,


was this story about these robot driving pilots, who could combine their individual robots, merging them physically, into one giant robot, for accomplish a job too big for any of the individual robots.

The part of the Arthurian legend that is relevant to your moat digging task, is the part about the Round Table.


So, basically, what I have in mind is a group of roughly wedge-shaped machines and a human driver for each wedge.

The wedges can be carried, or dragged, or rolled, into place, surrounding the tree. Then the wedges are assembled together, forming something resembling the legendary Round Table.

Then it is up to the human drivers, to push tangentially on each side of this assembled table, putting a torque on it, and causing it to rotate in a circle, with the tree at the center of this circle.

As the table rotates in a circle, the table's legs drag against the earth, and cut a circle shaped trench. To improve this trench-cutting action, the legs of the table may have blades on them, with a shape that cuts the kind of trench you want.

This makes me think, did you ever see that old movie, Conan the Barbarian?

In particular I am thinking of the scenes with the Wheel of Pain.


It was basically a bunch of people, slaves, pushing a large wheel, and slowly digging circle shaped trenches with thier feet as they did so.

Although the circle shaped trenches were just a side effect. The actual useful work being done by the Wheel of Pain, was for some kind of mill, for grinding grain.


1 year ago

How about a rototiller, that would break up the soil for you and then all you'd have to do would be to scrape away the loose soil.


1 year ago

Just throwing in some ideas:
- A slowly spinning digging-Disk (Disk with teeth) mounted sideways on some sort of cart like an old lawn mower. Digging-Disk pointing towards the tree and you drive around the tree while the disk is digging up the dirt and moving it towards you, making the same moat as shown in picture?
- You know the 2-man-shovels? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=198vOI-HAo0 Those could work in this environment as well with the hard soil...