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justgeorge
08-12-2008, 05:05 PM
Had an install job back in the spring where I had to run the vib plow about 4' from an older cedar tree. Going thru there I raised the blade so I probably wasn't more than 6 or 8" down. I don't recall hitting any roots that I could "feel". Now the tree is dying and the customer's landscaper is blaming the irrigation install Quote "they might as
well have just taken a chain saw and cut the tree off".

Sure I cut some roots, but that far from the trunk and only down one side and only 8" deep I couldn't have hit more than 5% of the roots. But, I'm not a tree expert.

Thoughts?

George

CAPT Stream Rotar
08-12-2008, 05:07 PM
What were you installing 4 feet in the ground?

and yes I have personally seen it happen with some fruit trees.

DanaMac
08-12-2008, 05:08 PM
It's always the irrigation companies fault. Tree dies - our fault. Grass dies - our fault. Water in basement - our fault. Hole in the roof - our fault. Cracked concrete - our fault. Dead dog - our fault. I have had people askk me or accuse me of all the mentioned items here.

You could have been PART of the problem, but not all. As you said, you wouldn't have damaged enough roots to kill it.

DanaMac
08-12-2008, 05:10 PM
What were you installing 4 feet in the ground?

and yes I have personally seen it happen with some fruit trees.

I think he meant 4' AWAY from the tree.

BTW, what kind of tree, what size, how old?

Wet_Boots
08-12-2008, 05:40 PM
Evergreens aren't taproot trees, so you can do damage within a foot from the surface. If I have to pull within four feet of an older tree, I'll hope it's an oak.

Mike Leary
08-12-2008, 05:48 PM
Never trench across a drip line, trench into the tree very carefully. You might be libel. :cry:

BrandonV
08-12-2008, 05:53 PM
most conifers are fairly top rooted, so the top 6-8" is likely where the feeder roots are. don't assume that the big bulky roots are the importance, all the small roots are what's important. you never want to plow/trench more than 1/4 in from the drip line on an older established tree. not saying you don't have to on occasion, but its not good. and also NEVER circle a tree or trench on all sides, that's a real kiss of death. I've on occasion dug a hole and bored thru just to try and avoid on big established oak... which around here you don't even want to look at funny. also if you must trench trench into the tree (towards the truck) and not across it. Was you're irrigation the only construction or did more happen? if any grading happened it could be a compaction issue, though if it has come on this quickly it's probably the trenching

Waterit
08-12-2008, 06:04 PM
Had an install job back in the spring where I had to run the vib plow about 4' from an older cedar tree. Going thru there I raised the blade so I probably wasn't more than 6 or 8" down. I don't recall hitting any roots that I could "feel". Now the tree is dying and the customer's landscaper is blaming the irrigation install Quote "they might as
well have just taken a chain saw and cut the tree off".

Sure I cut some roots, but that far from the trunk and only down one side and only 8" deep I couldn't have hit more than 5% of the roots. But, I'm not a tree expert.

Thoughts?

George

Look in the yellow pages, get an arborist to look at it (2nd opinion).

Mike Leary
08-12-2008, 07:04 PM
if you must trench trench into the tree (towards the truck)

A lot of trees die when you park your truck under them.

CAPT Stream Rotar
08-12-2008, 07:33 PM
I think he meant 4' AWAY from the tree.

BTW, what kind of tree, what size, how old?

It was some type of small apple tree that was newly established in on a large berm in full sun..I would say the tree was there maybe 3 years tops....My old hoss pulled a pipe about 5 feet from the root ball....It died before that winter...

I might have pictures.

BrandonV
08-12-2008, 07:52 PM
i doubt that tree would have died from yalls plow, probably got too much water with all the overspray :-)

Mike Leary
08-12-2008, 08:51 PM
i doubt that tree would have died from yalls plow, probably got too much water with all the overspray :-)

You are joking, I hope. The dude trenched across the feeder roots.

CAPT Stream Rotar
08-12-2008, 08:52 PM
You are joking, I hope. The dude trenched across the feeder roots.

dude,he knows...Lighten up kthanksbai

Mike Leary
08-12-2008, 09:11 PM
Anybody that trenches across tree roots asks for a lawsuit.

DanaMac
08-12-2008, 09:19 PM
Anybody that trenches across tree roots asks for a lawsuit.

So on a property that is HEAVILY treed, what the hell are you supposed to do?

I trenched about 175' today through a heavily treed area and probably hit roots for 15+ trees. Anywhere you could have trenched on this property would have hit roots. No direct sun anywhere on the property. maybe a couple spots by the road.

System was already in, new deck being built, two lines ran under where new deck would go. Re-routed pipes.

Mike Leary
08-12-2008, 09:24 PM
So on a property that is HEAVILY treed, what the hell are you supposed to do?.

Cross your fingers, stay as far from the drip line as you can.

CAPT Stream Rotar
08-12-2008, 09:27 PM
Cross your fingers, stay as far from the drip line as you can.

what a great idea.

FIMCO-MEISTER
08-12-2008, 09:38 PM
Never killed a tree I think. Texas Oaks are a different story though than the stuff that grows up north. Sadly though oak blight or whatever is killing a lot of oaks. I blame idiot pruners more than anybody. I suspect pruners transferring diseases have killed far more trees than irrigators trenching.

Mike Leary
08-12-2008, 10:13 PM
Sorry, brisket boy: trenchers are well known to trash trees, the LA signs off before work commences.

hoskm01
08-12-2008, 11:10 PM
You might be libel. :cry:



You cant cut the root and talk schitt about the tree too! Now that's Libel!

Mike Leary
08-12-2008, 11:50 PM
You cant cut the root and talk schitt about the tree too! Now that's Libel!

And, you are?

Waterit
08-13-2008, 12:39 AM
It was some type of small apple tree that was newly established in on a large berm in full sun..I would say the tree was there maybe 3 years tops....My old hoss pulled a pipe about 5 feet from the root ball....It died before that winter...

I might have pictures.

Must have been a defective tree. Return it to where purchased and ask for a full refund including labor to remove and replace it.

Kiril
08-13-2008, 01:04 AM
Need to know tree species, but generally speaking your going to have to cut a whole bunch of roots to kill an established tree. Trees that are sensitive to root pruning you generally don't want to prune more than 1/4 in a single season. If it was due to your root "pruning" it is more likely due to a pathogen introduced into the wound rather than the actually cutting of the roots.

As far as cutting big roots ...... where do you think all the smaller roots come from? Avoid cutting any major root unless you absolutely need to. I also agree with trenching into the tree, not across it (whenever possible), and avoid a good 3-5 feet on either side of the drip line.

Last but not least, KNOW YOUR TREES. If a tree is sensitive to root pruning, or prone to root diseases, then avoid cutting roots.

FIMCO-MEISTER
08-13-2008, 06:02 AM
Sorry, brisket boy: trenchers are well known to trash trees, the LA signs off before work commences.

LAs are a joke around here. I may deal with one a year? Usually the LAs people depend on here speak no ingles. I've messed with more interior decorators than LAs.

Waterit
08-13-2008, 08:20 AM
I like to get an LA to do a walk-through, wait for them to get to the middle of a zone, then give the zone a start. Childish, yes, but oh so satisfying to see a suit running for his/her life.:laugh:

Tom Tom
08-13-2008, 09:17 AM
It's always the irrigation companies fault. Tree dies - our fault. Grass dies - our fault. Water in basement - our fault. Hole in the roof - our fault. Cracked concrete - our fault. Dead dog - our fault. I have had people askk me or accuse me of all the mentioned items here.

.


Got accused of breaking a toilet this year.

Customer's wife figured it was the irrigation guys fault since it happened a day after I was checking out the system.

She actually told me later that the plumber said it could not have been my fault.....:laugh:

WalkGood
08-13-2008, 10:31 AM
Got accused of breaking a toilet this year.

Customer's wife figured it was the irrigation guys fault since it happened a day after I was checking out the system.

She actually told me later that the plumber said it could not have been my fault.....:laugh:


Short of you taking a huge dump in the custormers toilet....... how did she figure you broke it? Osmosis?

Tom Tom
08-13-2008, 11:19 AM
how did she figure you broke it? Osmosis?


Well you know how woman can think.........oops, did I say that with my outside voice.....

Wet_Boots
08-13-2008, 11:31 AM
woman can think ~ somehow those words don't seem to connect

jeffinsgf
08-13-2008, 11:47 AM
Never trench across a drip line, trench into the tree very carefully. You might be libel. :cry:

He may be liable, but he isn't libel. Libel is a tort. Liable is a condition of responsibility.

HooKooDooKu
08-13-2008, 12:19 PM
Had an install job back in the spring where I had to run the vib plow about 4' from an older cedar tree. Going thru there I raised the blade so I probably wasn't more than 6 or 8" down. I don't recall hitting any roots that I could "feel". Now the tree is dying and the customer's landscaper is blaming the irrigation install Quote "they might as
well have just taken a chain saw and cut the tree off".

Sure I cut some roots, but that far from the trunk and only down one side and only 8" deep I couldn't have hit more than 5% of the roots. But, I'm not a tree expert.

Thoughts?

George

I'm not a tree expert either, but here's my thoughts...

You cut off WAY more that 5% of the water supply to this tree. Trees have main roots with smaller feeder roots off of them. Most of these feeder roots are going to be towards the drip line, not the trunk. You didn't say how wide the tree was, but from simple geometry, if you cut half way between the trunk and the dirp line, you will have effected 25% of the roots. Now some of those will have effectively been chopped only at the tips, others you might as well have just removed the entire root you cut accross completely. So at a minimum, I'd say you cut off 10-15% of the feeder roots... and that's assuming you were only half way between the drip line and the trunk. If you were closer than 1/2 way between the drip line and the trunk, you could have easily removed the equivilent of 30 - 45% of all the feeder roots.

Now that's assuming roots are evenly distributed around the tree. But trees have a relatively few number of main roots( as few as three, as many as perhaps 6-8). So if the tree had only 4 major roots and you sliced through just one of them, you've effectively cut off 25% of it's feeder roots. If you happened to get really unlucky and feeder roots were not evenly distributed around the tree and you sliced through two or more of them, you might have effectively cut off as much as 40% to 60% of the tree's feeder roots (unlikely, but possible).

Waterit
08-13-2008, 12:20 PM
He may be liable, but he isn't libel. Libel is a tort. Liable is a condition of responsibility.

Yes, but Leary is a state of mind.