"Why did it cost $300 to repair one sprinkler head?" - "Tree roots ate my sprinkler!"
All kidding aside, last week one of our Irrigation Technicians brought the root/sprinkler mass on the right above back to our office. We have seen several similar over the years where it has taken hours and the use of a chainsaw to make a simple sprinkler head repair. Yes, tree roots will grow around irrigation sprinklers and pipes, strangling them and causing incredible trouble to make repairs. Trees are great, but tree roots can cause significant problems to the landscape and irrigation below. 
Shade is great to combat the  Urban Heat Island. However, many plants do not do as well in the shade and in competition with tree roots as in the open. As trees grow, their canopy not only shades parking lots, reducing the Urban Heat Island, but they also shade lawn and landscape below. In addition, the tree canopy also prevents rain from getting to the ground below while the roots compete for water and nutrients. This often leads to weak or loss of grass and shrubs below trees.   
Roots can also cause damage to sidewalks, parking lots and irrigation. As seen in the pictures above, roots can create thousands of dollars in infrastructure damage. When a recent customer questioned why a sprinkler repair cost several hundred dollars, the right picture explained it quite well.  Our Irrigation Technicians carry chain saws to cut out roots.
We will focus future newsletters on options to prevent and repair root damage and how to modify landscapes as they change due to maturing tress. As a part of our future budget proposals, we will be recommending removing lawn where shade and tree roots make growing grass difficult and expensive.  
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