Tree Root Excavation and Decompaction

Arborsense offer a range of services to treat the most common cause of tree health problems in urban and suburban trees:

Airspade to relieve soil compaction

When soils are compacted the space between soil particles are lost, reducing the soils ability to retain air and moisture.
Tree roots are permeable and need to breathe to stay healthy. The loss of air spaces can suffocate the tree roots. Compacted soils also hold less moisture than healthy soils, which can result in drought symptoms in trees.
Soil compaction around trees is often caused by people, animals, bicycles and cars, especially so in recreational and other heavily used areas.
The main symptoms of soil compaction are crown defects; tree surgery may address the symptoms but not the cause of these defects. By relieving soil compaction tree health improves. Improving tree health offers significant savings by reducing the need for tree surgery works.

How can we alleviate tree health problems caused by compaction?

We use a high-pressure air tool called an “Airspade”. This tool uses a high-speed jet of air to loosen and remove soil whilst leaving tree roots undamaged. We de-compact the surface layer of soil beneath the tree’s canopy and mix the loose soil with composted organic mulch. This encourages strong and healthy roots, which enable the tree to uptake nutrients and water, at the same time increasing structural root development.

Airspade used for radial trenching

Radial trenching involves removing the compacted soil in trenches radiating out from the trunk of the tree to the edge of the drip line. For particularly large trees, the radial trenches may be linked with circumferential trenches. These trenches can be back filled with the original soil or a mix of the original soil with compost. Trenches are then covered with a layer of composted mulch to protect the improved soil from further compaction.
Studies have shown that within 2 growing seasons, root growth within the trenches can be 4 times higher than in the untreated soil.

Other uses for the Airspade:

Root inspections: By removing the soil around the roots a visual assessment becomes possible when it is necessary to inspect the below ground parts of the tree. This is vital in assessing levels of root decay and identifying below ground problems such as girdling roots.
Trenching within a root system: Arborsense can assist in development projects where trenching is necessary within root protection areas. Trenches can be excavated without damaging tree roots to allow installation of new services.