Airspade Investigations

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Airspade Investigations 2022-06-24T10:14:00+00:00

Airspade Investigation

Advanced Arboriculture regularly undertakes Airspade projects for private, commercial and local authority clients. An Airspade is a handheld lance which directs a finely focussed jet of air at nearly twice the speed of sound into the ground. Its uses include:

Root Distribution Surveys

The Airspade can be used to establish the spread and extent of a tree’s rooting system, especially where structures need to be located within a tree’s root protection area.

Root Pruning

Where construction within the root protection area of a retained tree is unavoidable, manual root pruning can minimise damage as well as reducing the likelihood of decay. Compared to the inevitable fracturing, bark stripping and delamination of roots which occurs with mechanically dug trenches this can be a very productive method of tree preservation. It is also sometimes possible to expose and redirect roots around new structures using this technique.

Soil Amelioration

An Airspade can be used to break up the structure of compacted soil and can thus enhance the rooting environment. This is particularly important where accidental damage or compaction has occurred on development sites, or on areas subjected to extensive pedestrian or vehicular movements close to trees, such as parks or festival sites. Further soil improvements can be achieved by incorporating mature mulch into the decompacted soils.

Services Installation

Where services must be installed within a root protection area, it is often possible to use the Airspade to create a trench which can allow cables or pipes to be fed some distance below the major roots of a tree. The non-destructive action of the Airspade also minimises the potential for damage to other existing underground services which may not appear on any services survey.

Soil Level Restoration

Where soil or arisings have been tipped within a tree’s root protection area, the Airspade can be used to carefully reduce the ground back to its original level without the risk of compaction or over-excavation, issues which are usually associated with mechanical clearance.

All our Airspade operators are qualified, competent arborists and hold CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) accreditation. Because the Airspade is fed from a compressor, we do not need direct vehicular access to the area and are only limited by the lengths of our pneumatic hoses.

Airspaded trench

If you would like to learn more about the Airspade, or if you think this would be a useful tool for your project, we would be delighted to have an informal chat and to provide a free, no-obligation fee proposal for your needs. You are welcome to contact us directly either by telephone on 01395 239002 or you can email us here.