Apples irrigated with Nelson Irrigation products.

Apples & Pears


The Nelson R5, R7, and R10 Rotator® Sprinklers are ideal for under-canopy irrigation of high-density apple and pear plantings.

Our full-coverage irrigation systems, filled with Rotator sprinklers working at a low application rate, are proven ideal for apple and pear production. Critical benefits to apple and pear production include:

  • Crop cooling that’s up to the task of hot conditions and capable of preparing fruit for long-term storage
  • Under-canopy or overhead frost control
  • Increasing the growth of fruiting wood
  • Establishing and maintaining a cover crop which Improves soil fertility and structure, and access to the field

Under-canopy irrigation.

The Nelson R5, R7, and R10 Rotator sprinklers are ideal for under-canopy irrigation of high-density apple plantings. Though drip irrigation systems are an excellent tool for starting apple trees in the first year and are useful for fertilizer application, after apples reach the third leaf, yield and quality can be improved if you switch the majority of the irrigation to a Rotator full coverage irrigation system. 

Overhead cooling.

Nelson Rotator sprinklers are the ideal choice for overhead cooling of apples because they provide high uniformity and, with their lack of vibration, can be situated on simple, low-maintenance mounts. Higher-trajectory Rotator options with fast rotation speeds are ideal for cooling—this includes the R10 with Orange plate, R10T with Purple or Brown plate, R2000 with 24° plate, or the R2000LP with 24° plate. They simplify cooling systems and still provide high uniformity at very low application rates such as between 0.05 and 0.1 inches/hour (20 and 40 GPM per hour). And Nelson stake and tube assemblies are easily customized to overhead cooling as well as under-canopy irrigation.  

Small droplets.

Growers looking for small droplets for cooling, or to prevent water from reaching the orchard floor, should select R5 or R7 Rotator sprinklers. Where very fine droplets are desired such as those achieved with fogging devices, growers can select the S7 Spinner for cooling and operate it at 50 PSI to get a fogging effect with fewer devices and plugging problems.

Automation for drip and cooling.

In apples, drip and cooling systems cannot be properly operated in any way that maximizes yield and quality unless automation is incorporated. Nelson 1000 Series Valves combined with TWIG® Wireless Control Systems are reliable, easy to install, and simple to use. The new MC Controller provides remote automation control with an internet-connected cell phone or tablet.

Irrigating apples and pears is a complicated task that depends on everything from your region to your choice of valve. Explore some of the Nelson products commonly used for apples and pears below, or get in touch with the territory manager in your area so we can help find the right solution for you.

Rotator® Full Coverage Irrigation
Rotator® Sprinklers for Apples
Nelson R10 Rotator® Tree and Vine Sprinkler
Nelson Irrigation Rotator® Sprinklers For Trees, Vines & Row Crops
Recommended products for Apples & Pears