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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
 

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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.
 

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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
 

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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).
 

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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.
 

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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.
 
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