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Project: blocked drain pipe replacement
Location: Palm Coast, Florida
Contractor: City of Palm Coast
When: Summer, 2006
20 DBH live oak (Quercus virginiana)
The assignment: remove an old blocked drain pipe that had been installed over 20 years ago adjacent to a live oak tree.

We used an Air Spade to locate roots that passed over the drain pipe. A backhoe was used to carefully remove soil from areas where no roots were found. The old pipe was carefully pulled out from under the roots and a new black poly pipe was slipped beneath the roots. Soil was replaced into the trench over the existing roots. The tree was irrigated regularly for the rest of the summer. And now the tree is doing fine and a new drain pipe is keeping the neighborhood from flooding. The tree was much smaller when the initial trench was dug and the original drain pipe installed about 20 years ago. The number and size of roots that have grown back across the trench are surprisingly few and small. I have found that once a significant number of roots have been severed, they do not grow back in the same quantities. Most likely the tree grew new roots in other areas away from the trench.