Editor’s note: In a recent column, a reader asked what she could do to save the 80-foot hardwood trees on the border of her property. The neighboring property had been sold, and the developer was given a permit to put sewer lines beneath the tree, potentially killing them. After rebuffing the developer’s offer to work together, the homeowner was despondent to realize that the local municipality had given permission for the work to be done. Another reader responds:

Q: In your recent query from a reader about saving their 80-foot hardwood trees, I would suggest you have them contact an engineering firm/contractor specializing in directional/horizontal boring for communication or pipeline installations.

It looks as though they would need to drill less than 300 feet, assuming the property is roughly square. If it’s high rock content it might not be practical but normal soil or sand is a piece of cake for a competent contractor.

The county may be able to condemn the property, but if a court action is pending, that might delay the project and increase the expenses to the point where finding the extra funds to drill or bore becomes a better option.

A: Thanks for a worthwhile suggestion.

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Dec. 8, 2006.