For two decades, ARBORWISE, LTD. has been involved in urban forestry, tree preservation, and scientific arbor-care. We are excited that new technology has become available and we have now added it to our portfolio of services. The Air-Knife opens up a whole new level of urban forestry management!
What is the Air-Knife?
The Air-knife is a tool that uses compressed air to safely excavate soil from tree roots without causing damage. This technology was first developed by the US military to clear land mines. The air knife converts compressed air from a portable compressor to a supersonic jet-stream by use of its specially engineered nozzle. The finely focused stream of air penetrates the ground to a depth of nearly 30cm and can be aimed to crumble and blast the soil away as fast as the operator moves the tool. Since tree roots, rocks and pipelines are non-porous, soil can be excavated quickly - with no impact to these structures.
The air knife opens up a new world of tree-care! The overwhelming majority of trees that we see are over-mulched and planted too deep. This causes abnormal tree roots, and over time, roots encircle the trunk as the tree grows bigger in diameter (usually within 10-20 years). We have seen hundreds of trees literally choked by these girdling roots.
Evergreens are especially susceptible to excess mulch placed against the trunk of the tree. The thin bark of evergreens will be destroyed by using too much mulch.
A root collar excavation with the Air Knife can be used to remove the excess mulch or mounded dirt which causes girdling roots and trunk rot. When the problems are alleviated, clients notice graphic improvement the year after root collar excavation... The trees respond that quickly! Many experts cite the “rule of 80”, which states that 80% of all tree problems originate in the soil. Because of the 80% rule, you should focus much of your attention to the soil conditions (soil compaction, competition with turf, lack of drainage or organic matter, etc.)
This is why the air knife has become such an important tool. We are now able to quickly aerate large areas of soil and incorporate organic matter without damaging roots. Organic matter is the key to helping soils come alive with biological activity. Once this is accomplished, your trees will reward you with less maintenance, improved health and a better appearance! Check out our website or contact us directly to find out how the Air Knife can help your trees now! The air knife is a tool that many arborists are unaware of and few have in their arsenal.