Need some help with airspade proposal

JD3000

Most well-known member
Location
Columbus
Mess from an air spade cleans up really well. It's the world's greatest leaf blower. Just blast it and it disperses really well.
 

802climber

Active Member
Mess from an air spade cleans up really well. It's the world's greatest leaf blower. Just blast it and it disperses really well.
Thats kind of what I'm worried about. I'm sure we've all seen plenty of beds destroyed by backpack blowers.
 

JD3000

Most well-known member
Location
Columbus
Blast into the grass area. It's not that much soil until you start getting into trenching. Even most of that will stay near the trench.
 

802climber

Active Member
Copy that. Thanks. What is a reasonable target width for the trenches?


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JD3000

Most well-known member
Location
Columbus
Wider the better as the soil is compacted and others mentioned great depth may not be necessary and it's very difficult to blast it out past say 18" or so.
Do you have to retain/reseed turf or can you bed the tree further?
 

802climber

Active Member
For now we are going to leave the turf and see how the tree does. Of course it would be nice to bed the tree further in the future. Probably only 1/4 of root zone is turf.


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802climber

Active Member
For trenches Im thinking 1-2 feet wide by about a foot deep. And as long as practical. And we'll till the rest of the area with airspade just deep enough to break up compaction and incorporate amendments. Am I being more realistic now? Thanks


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Mangoes

Well-Known Member
Supersonic air knife x-hfa is NOT root friendly in high flow mode (large nozzle, 90psi, 330cfm with 375cfm compressor). It will stir up massive amounts of soil, strip all roots clean of bark and send all silty soil particles airborne.

Handy to have on very rare projects where this capacity helps and roots are irrelevant (aerating my septic field). The "flame" of blue compressed air is wild to see as well.

Otherwise the smaller nozzle and compressor is best.
 

ROYCE

Well-Known Member
Location
Vermont
Supersonic air knife x-hfa is NOT root friendly in high flow mode (large nozzle, 90psi, 330cfm with 375cfm compressor). It will stir up massive amounts of soil, strip all roots clean of bark and send all silty soil particles airborne.

Handy to have on very rare projects where this capacity helps and roots are irrelevant (aerating my septic field). The "flame" of blue compressed air is wild to see as well.

Otherwise the smaller nozzle and compressor is best.
But super helpful in de-compacting a very heavily compacted area. Not sure if thats the case here. But I have removed entire sod lawns and made them into root space with the SSAK. But I agree not the tool for RCX or areas where your coming into contact with roots.
 

JD3000

Most well-known member
Location
Columbus
I make a point to blast away/kinda sideways for RCX with the air spade for same reason. Never used the air knife.
 

Urban Ecology llc

New Member
Location
445 Rhoads ave
Wow. that is some serious tree abuse, 802. It is always frustrating to be called in when the outcome is so poor. I asked about Willastonite because I have never used it so was curious. We rarely (almost never) have acidic soils to deal with, so liming is not generally considered.

Go ahead and contact the HBEF. At least go on their website, they have some very helpful/informative articles re this. It is also good to note these amendments were successful without incorporation into the soil.

The apparent popularity of using the air spade is a bit of a concern to me as it pulverizes the soil and destroys aggregation. So it is good to be sure it is being proposed in critical situations, not as a routine maintenance.

Sylvia
Great point regarding air spading not being a part of routine maintenance. Dr. Glynn Percival spoke at the ISA international conference in Knoxville and gave a great talk on passive decompaction. He used vertical mulching and different species of worms to decrease overall bulk density. The study is pretty cool, I'll attach a link to the article.
 

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cerviarborist

Very stable member
Location
Florida, USA
Great point regarding air spading not being a part of routine maintenance. Dr. Glynn Percival spoke at the ISA international conference in Knoxville and gave a great talk on passive decompaction. He used vertical mulching and different species of worms to decrease overall bulk density. The study is pretty cool, I'll attach a link to the article.
Of importance to note in their study are two points. One is that the site was in Europe. The other is that they used two European native earthworm species to repatriate into the compacted sites.

In North America, exotic invasive earthworms are responsible for big problematic changes in forest ecology, and their introduction into soils is discouraged.

I've had very good success utilizing an Airspade 2000 with a 185 SCFM compressor to perform numerous root collar excavations and vertical decompaction assignments. (The 45 degree elbow really speeds up the process for vertical work). Operator knowledge and diligence are the keys to avoid stripping bark from tree roots. Just think of the tool in your hands as a surgical scalpel rather than an axe, or a gardeners trowel rather than a shovel and you can do good work.
 
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DSMc

Well-Known Member
Location
Montana
... I've had very good success utilizing an Airspade 2000 ... Just think of the tool in your hands as a surgical scalpel ...
Good analogy. The airspade has allowed us to correct some pretty drastic compaction issues with minimal impact, but like going to a surgeon, it should not take the place of long lasting health care planning and implementation.
 

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