Air Spade Uses

Date April 25, 2023

Author TreeNewal Staff

An air spade is a high-tech land excavation tool used by professional arborists. Sometimes called an air tool, an air spade uses compressed air to remove soil and mulch. Air spading is fast, non-invasive, and incredibly useful for a range of jobs. These are just some of the ways arborists can use an air spade.

Analyzing Tree Health

Image via Flickr

Arborists can use an air spade to expose a tree’s roots and root collar. They can then assess the root flare, where the tree’s trunk meets the root tissue, without damaging the roots. The root flare reveals a lot about a tree’s health. The information arborists learn from the root flare can help them diagnose and treat any underlying health conditions before they become more serious.
Arborists will also look for signs of root decay when examining the roots exposed by an air spade. Left untreated, root rot can be fatal for trees, or cause them to become unstable. Early detection allows homeowners to remove all signs of root rot, adjust their soil’s pH level, and give their trees the best chance of survival.

Assessing Soil Health

Arborists can also use an air spade to assess the soil itself. Examining the way it acts under the air compressor can show whether the soil is compacted or its grade has changed. These problems can compromise both a tree’s growth and its health.

Correcting Compacted Soil

If an arborist detects compacted soil, their air spade can correct the problem. One common technique is vertical mulching, which involves using the air spade to create a grid pattern of vertical tunnels in the soil. Filling these tunnels with compost increases nutrients in the soil. They can also remedy soil compaction with another air spade technique called radial trenching. This process sees an arborist use their air spade to create long trenches that fan out from the tree’s root flare. They backfill the trenches with compost to make the soil richer and healthier for the tree.

Safely Transplanting Trees

Sometimes homeowners want to move their trees to different locations. Perhaps the tree has grown too close to their home or they want to add a new structure such as a pool or carport. Without an air spade, saving the tree can be nearly impossible. An air spade can quickly expose the roots without damaging them, allowing an arborist to make safe pruning cuts and remove the tree from the soil. They can then simply move the tree to its new location for replanting.

Saving Trees in Construction Zones

New construction can compromise established trees. An air spade can help a homeowner or business start a new construction venture while preserving the natural surroundings. An arborist can expose and prune roots back in a sustainable way, keeping them out of the construction zone and away from potentially damaging machinery.

TreeNewal is proud to offer its air spading services to homeowners and businesses across the DFW Metroplex and its surrounding areas. Complete the handy online quote request form to learn more about the cost of air spading and organize an appointment with the TreeNewal team.