Increasingly recommended by Tree Officers, air picks utilise a pressurised jet of air that removes soil particles and allows roots to be located, inspected or pruned without any risk of damage to the tree in question, those that surround it, or any utilities located nearby.
Other tree care activities such as root de-compaction and mulching can also be carried out using air pick technology.
Soil compaction can occur due to many causes, although the common cause is construction site traffic and heavy pedestrian use. Soil compaction is detrimental to tree health, preventing water ingress to the roots and gaseous diffusion, a natural function of the root system. A common method employed to alleviate compaction is known as radial mulching. An air pick is used to expose up to a third of the tree’s root system, compost and/or mulch is added to the excavated soil which is then put back in place.
It is even possible to expose an entire network of roots for safe tree relocation.