AIR SPADE EXCAVATION

Are you requiring air spade excavation of the soil around your trees?

This may be something that the council requires you to do as part of your planning process.

This is something that Arbor Cultural Ltd. is able to assist you with.

There are three main reasons why air spading is undertaken around the base of trees.

1)         To decompact the soil around the base of trees where the tree protection measures have been breached either with the fencing being moved or not installed, or when the ground protection was absent or not sufficient. This will have resulted in compaction of the soil affecting the water percolation and gases exchange required by the roots.

2)         Where there is further investigation required to establish exactly where the main roots of the tree are when development work is being undertaken close to or within the root protection area (RPA).  This can be done as part of addressing a planning condition but is better if it is addressed as part of the planning application process and the pre-application works.

3)         The best use of air spade equipment is where it is used as part of a comprehensive tree management strategy where trees have been identified as being stressed, either visually or using the Arborcheck chlorophyll fluorescence test, or where they have decay and degradation.


The decompaction of the soil with the air spade will not only improve water percolation and gases exchange, but when undertaking in conjunction with mulching, nutrient application or soil conditioning can address all three of the issues above and better enable the trees to deal with the stress disease and decay so that they can form barriers and produce reaction wood to address their physiological and structural requirements. 

This will also encourage earthworm activity as well as other soil-based fauna, better water retention, better insulation and slow nutriment, release as the dead organic material is broken down.

We at Arbor cultural Ltd have recently invested in the Airex air spade.  In addition to the air spade we have purchased four nozzles, a hood, and a protection screen so that we can keep the damage and disturbance to the surrounding area down to a minimum. We also updated all of our PPE equipment to ensure that we are fully compliant with all the health and safety regulations.

We have added this to our public liability insurance and our keen to use this and every opportunity now to improve the trees routing environment and therefore their health.

This will reduce the requirements for tree surgery which is even more impactful to a tree that is already struggling.

This leads to what is known as the spiral of decline where the tree has some disease defects of decay, so it is reduced in size, reducing the leaf area and therefore reducing its ability to repair and defend itself.

This ultimately will lead to more tree surgery and smaller and smaller trees. Addressing the soil to give them the optimum routing environment will reduce this reliance on tree surgery as trees are able to repair and rejuvenate themselves.

We cover the south east of England and most frequently undertake this service in Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, and London.