Tree Roots: Cut Out or Go Around?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by jbell36, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. jbell36

    jbell36 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from KANSAS
    Messages: 1,416

    ran into a zone not coming on yesterday...the customer said they could hear a hissing type sound by a tree right next to the zone...dug down and found all kinds of roots pinching the poly, the question is, do u guys usually just cut the roots out or try to re route the pipe?

    these are pretty good size roots, i don't want to hurt the tree...a friend in town who does strictly irrigation says to cut them out, he never has issues with the tree suffering...i'm a little reluctant, but if this is common practice then i will get the sawzall
  2. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,171

    Your friend is full of it, no one should have had laterals that close to the root zone in the first place. You either go under or over, or re-route the entire lateral. Irrigation lines should NEVER go across root zones, rather, they should push in from outside the mature drip line. :)
  3. SRT8

    SRT8 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CA
    Messages: 1,318

    Mike is correct. Dont listen to your friend:nono:
  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,752

    Lots of the root-choked pipes are not the result of bad planning so much as inevitable, given a property that is mostly tree-covered. If it's possible to pull in a new pipe around the blockage, the result is usually worth it. It might be possible to find enough unobstructed pipe close to the blockage to make a repair, but I wouldn't count on it.
  5. jbell36

    jbell36 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from KANSAS
    Messages: 1,416

    yeah i would say more along the lines of inevitable in most situations, and how would u deal with this case it looks like it could have been avoided, the lateral was simply too close to the root zone, prob 4-5 feet away from the base, with a good 15 feet away from the house, more than enough room to have avoided this...but there are those situations where it happens...i noticed a way i could have used 4 el's and gone over the roots at a 45 degree angle, but would that be a good way to fix this situation? keep in mind this was a cluster of roots
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  6. greenmonster304

    greenmonster304 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,690

    Missile under the tree.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. Without A Drought

    Without A Drought LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,087

    just re route around or over or under and be done with it.

    Does everyone have time to ponder every little hiccup on a service call? i'm all for planning and doing a job the right way, but at the end of it, you have to get the problem fixed and move on.
  8. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    All depends on how much the customer wants to spend . give them both options go from there.
  9. cjohn2000

    cjohn2000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 570

    This reminds me of the time I was supposed to just repair/replace a valve that wasn't working at a guys house. The HO shows me the valve and it is directly next to a mature (15' tall 20' dia) tree and the valve is an old hydrorain at least 12" down. I immediately got the feeling we were going to have to move the valve and reroute the mainline. Lower valvebox was a plant pot.

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