Root excavation is one of the most important components of tree care. The tree’s root system, after all, can’t be seen above ground level. An arborist needs to remove the soil around the roots in order to properly examine the root tissue.

Fortunately, it’s possible to do this without injuring the roots. The answer is the Air Spade, a state-of-the-art tool that Friendly Tree is proud to use. Let’s look at how Air Spade services work and why they are so useful.

Air Spades for Root Excavation

The Air Spade is an excavation device that uses compressed air to remove soil. It’s powerful enough to handle heavy materials like hard clay or clumps of soil. At the same time, it’s gentle enough to safely use around sensitive roots.

The device is essentially a long stick, or wand, with an adjustable nozzle. The wand is connected to an air compressor, which sends high-pressure air through the wand. When the air is released from the nozzle, it breaks apart lumps of soil.

When is an Air Spade Used?

Air Spades are used for removing soil around the base of a tree. This exposes the tree’s complex root system, which is ideal for situations like: 

  • Preparation for root inspection
  • Diagnosis of tree concerns or diseases
  • Removal of excess soil after construction projects  
  • Preparation for various treatments (such as fungicides)
  • Excavation of trees that were planted too deeply (a common occurrence)
  • Digging trenches for gas, electric, utility, and sprinkler lines without cutting roots

How an Air Spade Protects a Tree

Since the root system is underground, it’s impossible to inspect or handle the roots without digging up the surrounding soil. This is traditionally done with a hand spade or another mechanical technique.

However, it can be a tedious process. It can also result in root damage and endanger the health of the tree.

Air Spades offer a safer, more efficient method. The high-pressure air breaks apart soil without harming the root tissue. As a bonus, the process is quick, so it saves time for both the arborist and property owner.

The only drawback is that the Air Spade is quite loud. The noise is caused by the air compressor and high-pressure air. Otherwise, an Air Spade will only benefit your tree in the long run.

Friendly Tree Offers Air Spade Services in New Jersey

If you’re in need of root excavation, contact Friendly Tree. Our New Jersey tree experts are skilled in professional Air Spade services. During the excavation process, we can also examine your tree’s health and diagnose any plant concerns.

Since 1989, Friendly Tree has offered tree services throughout northern New Jersey. Our team serves Essex, Morris, Union, Bergen, Passaic, Hudson, Middlesex, and Somerset counties. When you’re ready to schedule a consultation, contact Friendly Tree at (973) 678-8888.