Construction or maintenance work that makes intrusions into a tree’s root zone will benefit from use of an AirSpade. Air-spading is safe to the tree’s roots and a highly efficient method to perform exploratory excavation to locate existing roots and utilities. Almost any site work operations – including the building of foundations, pavements, drainage infrastructure, and utilities – present ideal opportunities for air-spading and root pruning.
Proper root pruning will encourage future growth and minimize negative impacts to structures or utilities. Once the existing roots have been excavated, a certified arborist can easily determine the best places to make clean cuts using a hand pruner.
In all cases, an arborist should oversee care for the tree before, during, and after construction. In this type of application, the tree’s excavated root zone may often remain exposed for several days or more. For this reason, it is important to protect and cover roots (for example with soil, mulch, or burlap cloth) and to provide supplemental water as required.
Root Pruning Of course, it is preferable to remove as little of a tree’s root system as possible, and site planning of utilities or new structures should try to minimize impacts to established trees whenever possible. If large roots or a substantial percentage of a tree’s roots need to be removed, then the tree will be under significant stress and may require special attention through an extended recovery period.
Root pruning for construction begins with preliminary site layout exploratory excavation by the arborist. Soil should be stockpiled and replaced as soon as possible to avoid undue stress to the tree. The arborist may advise the best location for utility placement to benefit the tree as well as the ongoing maintenance of the utilities. The arborist may excavate as much as necessary to properly locate and stagger pruning cuts and to allow roots to be trained around or away from the new construction. The arborist should provide oversight throughout construction to ensure tree protection and proper tree care and watering.
Technical Applications Bulletin
To learn more about performing air-spading procedures, tree health care and preservation read the full article below.