The key causes are most often soil compaction from construction equipment, root damage due to excavation or concrete pavement over much of the root zone. The typical symptoms are a slow process of diminishing vigor in the tree. Each successive year the canopy gets thinner. Increasing amounts of die-back also are characteristic. The amount of time it takes for complete death depends on the species of tree and the extent of root damage. Since the tree's vascular system in vertical and linear often the tree die-off will first occur on the construction side of the tree.
Prevention is the best approach to save the trees through a variety of measures. However, if caught early, this "disease" can be treated through a combined approach of aeration and fertilization of the root zone.
If you have this problem contact Heritage Tree Service of Texas at 214-244-8411 to get valuable help.