Air Spade: How it Works

Friendly Tree is proud to offer a wide range of tree services, including professional root excavation. This involves removing soil around a tree’s roots with a tool called an Air Spade.

By using the Air Spade, our team can access and examine the root system without causing tissue damage. Not sure how it works? Ahead, learn about the Air Spade and how it can help your trees.

How an Air Spade Works

The Air Spade is an excavation device that’s used by professional arborists. It’s a heavy-duty handheld tool that consists of a long stick, or barrel, with a nozzle at one end. The other side is attached to an air compressor, which releases high-pressure air through the barrel.

By the time it reaches the nozzle, the compressed air turns into a rapid jet-like stream. In fact, according to Air Spade, the air that comes out moves at about 1,200 mph!

During an Air Spade service, your arborist will point this nozzle to the soil around a tree’s roots. The force of the air will dislodge soil and other particles. It’s even strong enough to break apart compacted soil, so it’s much faster than manual excavation.

Despite its speed and strength, the stream of air won’t harm the tree’s roots. It also won’t damage non-porous materials such as pipes and cables underground. Instead, the compressed air will simply break apart soil, leaving the root system exposed and ready for inspection.

Why Use an Air Spade for Root Excavation?

The Air Spade is a faster, more efficient alternative to manual excavation. Digging up soil by hand is a time-consuming task. It’s also unsafe for the roots; one wrong move and a hand spade can easily cause damage. This is especially likely if the soil is heavy and compacted, which requires more force with a hand spade.

And remember, the tree’s root system is extremely sensitive. If the roots are injured, the entire tree may suffer.

With an Air Spade, an arborist can safely remove the soil while saving you time.

When to Use an Air Spade

An Air Spade for root excavation may be used for:

  • Preparing a property for tree planting
  • Identifying tree diseases
  • Root pruning
  • Preparing for root and tree inspections
  • Repairing soil compactions
  • Creating trenches for construction projects
  • Removing extra soil after construction
  • Vertical mulching
  • Removing trees that were planted too deep    

Need Air Spade Services? Contact Friendly Tree

If you need a root excavation or inspection, an Air Spade may come in handy. Friendly Tree can explain how it works and what you can expect during Air Spade services. We may also recommend using the tool for the purposes mentioned above.

For tree servicing in New Jersey, contact Friendly Tree online or call us at (973) 678-8888. Our expert tree technicians offer tree pruning, tree removal, stump grinding, and more.