What is soil compaction?
Soil compaction is a concern because it can adversely affect plant growth. The compaction of soil macro and micro pores (air spaces) restricts root movement, water percolation, drainage and air circulation – often resulting in roots being unable to take up sufficient water or nutrients from the soil. The result is a reduction in plant growth and viability, particularly during periods of drought.
A majority of tree health problems begin in the roots. So the challenge is: if proper diagnosis necessitates a peek at a tree’s root system, and unearthing the roots will cause unmerited damage to the tree’s roots, what is an arborist to do? Arbor Operations, based in Brisbane, has just the tool to address this issue: the air spade. This tool has become such a benefit to our tree care operations at Arbor Operations through the ability to expose and inspect roots in a non-invasive manner.
A non-invasive method of diagnosing a tree’s root system
Testimonial: We were called in to care for a mature tree that was located within a new construction project. The soil around the root zone of the tree was severely compacted from heavy traffic and construction machinery. The trouble with some trees is their intolerance for soil compaction. No problem right? Just aerate the soil…but how?
Of course the old fashion rototiller would do the trick and fluff that soil up right away. The only problem is that this would chop the roots of this beautiful tree into a useless mess. This is where the Air Spade is invaluable.
With its non-invasive action, we were able to fluff up the soil and add some organic material into the topsoil without damaging even the smallest root hairs.
The Air Spade
The Air Spade is a great addition to our Brisbane based tree care service. Our asset management and tree restoration program wouldn’t be the same without it. Having access to the root system of a tree without harming the roots has revolutionised the tree care industry. Here are just some of the tree care operations that can be successfully conducted with this tool:
- Locating roots for utility line installation
- Radial trenching
- Root collar excavation
- Root damage investigation
- Root locating for pruning
- Soil compaction reduction
- Transplanting/bare rooting
- Vertical mulching
- Checking the adequacy of the root structure