The Air Spade is a fantastic tool for use in Arboriculture and Construction. It uses a very high pressure of air, which efficiently moves soil without damaging roots or cables etc.
If a tree is in decline, this could mean soil compaction over the root plate, which prevents subterranean respiration and exchange of gases. By loosening the soil within the drip line of the tree and adding composted mulch a trees health can be improved, the cost of this can be much cheaper in the long run rather than removal, sump grinding and re-planting. The loss of a mature tree can be priceless.
With regard to root protection areas (BS 5837:2012 Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction – Recommendations) The Air Spade can be used to prove the position and where abouts of the root system which ensures correct positioning of root protection to areas enabling excavations to take place as close as possible to the tree without damaging roots.
The Air Spade can be used to excavate a trench for services within the root protection areas of the trees and is particularly effective when used in conjunction with a vacuum. The trench will not affect the trees health or stability, if anything it could improve the trees health as the soil when re-instated is loose and oxygen filled encouraging fibrous root growth.