Stoneleigh: Air Power

April 28, 2017

By Ethan Kauffman, director of Stoneleigh

Work continues at Stoneleigh as we ready the property for its public debut (spring, 2018).

Last week, our friends at Shreiner Tree Care once again helped us out (they also donated their services to crane in the massive white oak stump used to carve our famous hare sculpture) by doing some air spade work for us.


The work was part of the installation of a porous-pavement walking path around the property. The air space lets us blow soil away without damaging tree roots, so we could note the exact location of roots that would be impacted by construction of the path. That way, we can adjust the location of the path slightly to avoid damaging the ancient trees here at Stoneleigh.

If we can’t relocate the path in a spot, the next best option is to cleanly cut the exposed roots. This not only allows them to heal more effectively, but also prevents lateral tearing of roots further back towards the tree, which can increase exposure to rot and disease, and is generally very bad.

In the photos, you can see two air spades trenches, each representing the outside edges of the trail. It’s interesting to note that the further the trench is from the tree (even only 6 feet), the roots are much smaller, and therefor less critical to the trees continue growth.