Hey, Jay J should try them instead of knocking them. I have had them for 2 years and they really do the job. As the manufacturer recommends, you don’t want the drops hitting bare soil. Just like the raindrops from the sky, they will splash dirt around and create low spots. My mulch stays put and it used to get blasted away before I used rain dispersal system.
I have not had to clean them and there are trees all around my home. Give them a shot.