Exploratory Excavation & Root Pruning


When construction or maintenance work intrudes into a tree’s root zone, the tree will benefit from exploratory excavation and root pruning.

It enables the Arborist to:

  • Locate existing roots through Hydro-Vacing or Day-lighting and provide proper root pruning
  • Protect and cover exposed roots with soil, mulch or burlap and provide additional water as required
  • Recommend the best location for utility placement to benefit the tree, and assist in ongoing utility maintenance
  • Properly prune the tree roots so that they grow away from the new construction

AirSpade® Root Zone Extraction Service

This service involves the use of a pneumatic air gun to remove soil from root areas without damaging any tree tissue. Soil is blown free of the roots and/or base of a tree in order to gain access to the below-ground structure and correct common tree deficiencies. Unlike mechanical means of digging, injuries to the subject trees are illuminated. The benefits can include soil decompaction, root collar excavation, root pruning and transplanting and bare root digging.

Common remediation uses of AirSpade® include the following practices:

  • Soil Decompaction: By moving or ‘tilling’ areas of a trees’ root zone, hard-packed soils can be broken up and mixed with additional organic materials to provide healthier soils for tree growth.
  • Root Collar Excavation: Many trees can start out life with chocking roots encircling the trunk below grade. This common ailment gets progressively worse over time and can kill otherwise healthy trees. When addressed in time, girdling roots can be severed and stopped from choking the trunk. Careful removal of the soil in this critical area of the tree using the AirSpade® can address these issues without causing additional damage to the tree.
  • Root Pruning: Similar to the above point, exposing roots with the AirSpade® can provide access to roots that have been previously damaged or are at risk from future site work. Not unlike tree branches, roots need to be pruned properly in order to limit dieback and disease entry. Once again, the ability to gain access to tree roots without injury pays dividends to ongoing tree health.
  • Transplanting and Bare Root Digging: Certain circumstances occur where the need to move trees provides more applicable AirSpade® options. With proper consideration of season and tree species, removing the soil from a tree root system allows for easier transplanting and greater success. Similarly, partial root zone excavation allows for the correct pruning needed for the preparation of transplanting larger trees.

For more information about AirSpade® Root Zone Extraction, click here.

Request a Quote

To determine if your tree can benefit from Exploratory Excavation and Root Pruning or AirSpade® Root Zone Extraction services today.