B & B Tree Specialists own and operate an Air Spade service. This is a unique tool that directs a very high pressure stream of air into the ground in order to move soil without direct physical contact with the ground. The Air Spade is used for the following operations;
Tree roots require a soil environment where water percolation and gaseous exchange can occur. Compaction of soils around trees is a common problem and leads to many urban trees declining in health. Using the Air Spade, we carefully loosen the soil around the trees roots, often in a radial pattern extending out from the tree stem to create “spokes” of improved soil structure. Backfilling soil can be mixed with soil improving compost to further improve soil structure, fertility and nutrient value.
Tree root investigation
The air space can be used to investigate suspected tree root decay or damage. Some fungal decay pathogens affect tree roots in preference to stems of limbs, therefore it may be necessary to carry out subterranean investigations to ascertain the condition of structural roots to assess tree stability. Investigations may also be needed to assess suspected damage to tree roots, particularly where trees are located near to recent excavation works on building sites or where trenches for underground utilities have been dug. The location of tree roots may also need to be determined, for example during an assessment to trees in relation to building subsidence or when planning construction works near to a tree.
Excavation of trenches
Where trenches need to be dug near to trees (for foundations or utilities installation / repair) the Air Spade provides an alternative to damaging machine digging or time and labour intensive hand digging. Careful use of the Air Spade enables the removal of soil form around tree roots without damage to the root system. Where necessary, the Air Spade can be used with a soil vacuum for the collection of loosened soil with minimal mess.