Remediate compacted soil that can lead to root damage and tree death.

Tree roots need access to oxygen and water in order for the tree to survive.

If the ground around a tree has been compacted by machinery or pedestrians – as often happens on development sites and in parks and gardens – air and water cannot filter down to the roots and the tree cannot metabolise. The resulting tree death from soil compaction is quite rapid and irremediable.

It is extremely important to try to prevent compaction of soil around a tree, however, if a rooting area does become compacted (due to movement of vehicles, machinery, storage of materials, heavy pedestrian use, and so on) then it should be de-compacted as soon as possible to prevent the death of the tree.

AV Arboriculture can improve the health of a tree with our soil decompaction service using an Air SpadeTM – a purpose-built compressed-air powered excavation tool.

Air-spading can cause some loss of beneficial myccorhizal fungi, so we will directly apply to exposed roots a mix of endomycorrhizae and ectomycorrhizae, trichoderma and Bacillus (bacteria for Nitrogen fixing, Phosphorous solublising and growth promotion).  This will effectively repopulate the beneficial microbes in the soil, thus causing no long-term damage to the tree.

We are the only company in Scotland to own an Air Spade.

Find out more in our Soil Decompaction Case Study.

Air Spade

Air Spade

Please watch our video to view a sample of compacted soil around a tree, emphasising why it is so important to carry out soil decompaction:

Air Spade Brochure


We also carry out root excavation work, root mapping and trenching with Air Spade.


Please contact AV Arboriculture for further information.