When re-landscaping or fixing irrigation, it is very important to protect the root system of existing trees on your property. Trenching for new irrigation or electrical can damage the root system on established trees, damage that may not be noticed for many seasons after the construction has been completed. Severing large diameter roots can cut off water and nutrients to a large area of the tree, potentially causing branch and limb dieback.
As you can see, a large diameter root was severed to make way for a new lighting system. The root was cut a few years ago, but the tree did not start showing symptoms for at least a year after the project. The upper portions of the tree also contained flatheaded borers, causing additional damage to the mesquite tree. These branches will not likely survive and should be removed to prevent borers infesting other portions of the tree. To make way for the new electrical line, air trenching would have prevented the extensive root damage, borer infestation and branch dieback.