Air Spade Services: What to Expect

An Air Spade is a heavy-duty excavation tool that’s used by professional arborists. It utilizes compressed air to loosen and remove soil, which allows safe access to a tree’s root system.

Compared to digging with a traditional spade, using an Air Spade is an ideal alternative. It’s faster and safer, for arborists and trees alike.

The expert arborists at Friendly Tree offer Air Spade services in New Jersey. Here’s what you can expect during your appointment.

Air Spade Uses

Arborists use Air Spades to excavate soil around a tree. The high-pressure air effectively breaks up the particles without damaging the sensitive roots.

Specifically, an Air Spade may be used for the following purposes:

  • Preparing a site for tree planting
  • Fixing soil compaction
  • Root collar excavation
  • Root and tree inspections
  • Diagnosing tree diseases
  • Digging trenches for construction or utility projects
  • Excavation of trees planted too deep
  • Adding soil mixes
  • Vertical mulching
  • Root pruning

Using an Air Spade is also ideal for working with soil around existing buried objects, like utility lines.

What to Expect During Air Spade Services

When your arborist uses an Air Spade, the exact procedure will depend on why they’re using it in the first place. However, here’s what you can generally expect during the service:

1. Soil Preparation

You’ll need to water the soil to be aerated a day or two before your appointment. This will speed up the process, as moist soil is easier to break apart. It will also prevent excess soil from blowing away.

2. Clearing the Area

During your scheduled service, your arborist will remove shrubs, flowers, or grass from the work area. This will give them full access to the soil.

If possible, we recommend removing what you can before your appointment. Again, this will help things move things along. You might also want to hold on to any plants you want to keep and relocate.

3. Plan Ahead

Although Air-Spade services are quick and convenient, they can be noisy. If you have kids or pets who are sensitive to loud noises, you might want to make plants to ensure they aren’t present. Likewise, if you work from home, consider taking the day off (if possible) or working from a different location during your appointment.


If the excavated area is very deep but can’t be refilled right away, your arborist may backfill the space with coarse mulch or medium-sized stones. These materials offer air circulation around the roots.

Call Friendly Tree for Air Spade Services in New Jersey

Thanks to the trusty Air-Spade, Friendly Tree can remove or aerate the soil without damaging your existing trees. This is especially useful during root excavation services, along with the other purposes mentioned above.

If you’re unsure how to prepare your property for Air Spadework, feel free to reach out. We can explain what to expect during Air-Spade services and estimate how long the process will take.

Friendly Tree is also proud to offer tree removal, tree pruning, and more. To learn more about our residential tree services, call us at (973) 678-8888 or request a quote online.