What is an Air Spade?
Air Spades are excavation tools designed to be as gentle with the earth as possible. Pressurized air digs through the earth and loosens up dirt and stone, while leaving tree roots and other plant matter undamaged. Regular metal tools will cut and slash these roots, leaving the trees and plants in danger of dying. When we at Oakstead use air spades, we’re actively working to keep your property lush and lively.
Air spades are faster and safer than using traditional excavation and digging techniques. Most situations don’t need air spades, as the space needed to be dug out is small enough for simple shovels. Air spades are more tailored to larger projects or densely rooted areas.
Technical Information about the Air Spade
This is a Pneumatic Excavation tool that removes soil from around tree roots with high pressure air. The tool produces a stream of Supersonic air moving at Mach 2. Its primary purpose is to excavate without damaging roots. But the AirSpade has several other handy uses:
- For digging trenches through the root zones of Protected trees. Used for installation of utilities lines, etc , in construction or property development.
- Digging trenches through stoney, or rocky ground. The tool isolates the stones so that they can be removed quickly. This saves a lot of difficult digging.
- Decompaction, aeration, and mixing in of soil amendments around the root zone around large mature trees.
- Decompaction of old roadways.
- Wherever “surgical” digging is required.
Here, we can see the true value of the air spade, and how effective it is at digging while protecting the integrity of plant roots. While these look like fun, we recommend asking a trained professional to use these tools as they can be dangerous if mishandled.
In this photo, we are excavating the roots in order to better analyze their health and provide advice and resources for this client. We want to protect the tree as much as possible and encourage it to thrive.