Don't Call any Spade a Spade!

The harvest season is soon over and delivery schedules are merciless. Therefore it is essential for the nurseryman that the tree spade works fast and reliably. It must be of compact design and light weight. The root ball shape should match the natural growth pattern of roots, and the blades should render a neat cut. 

It has now almost been 40 years since Dieter Opitz, managing director of Optimal-Vertrieb Opitz, began to develop his first tree spade. He knew exactly what mattered, because, for years before that, he had lifted trees the hard way: digging manually.

The Economical Cutting Edge

You are considering the purchase of a tree spade. 
Is your power unit too small or is the tree spade too heavy? 
When comparing weights you will find Optimal in the light class.
Can the unit work in the rows of your nursery? If not, look for a machine with less working width. Optimal stands for compact design.
What about time? When attaching a tree spade you know how good it is. You can attach an Optimal in one minute. And the operation is fast.
Talking about time: Optimals last long, many of them ten years 
or more. 


Of course, there should be better spades than Optimals, but they havn't been made yet. 
Don't worry, we are working on it.

What's so optimal about the OPTIMAL ?

When comparing different types of tree spades, it is extremely important to not only compare the price but also the product. We are highlighting a few features which should be critically compared: 

- Weight

- Size

- Special Features


The importance of a weight comparison cannot be overestimated. After all, it is the weight which determines the size of the loader. For more than 30 years our engineers have been working to design machines which are very sturdy and at the same time as light as possible. Here is the result:

Optimal 1100 890 kg

Big John 42 1.134 kg

Big John 52 2.132 kg

Optimal 1400 1.495 kg

Big John 62 2.359 kg

Some clients buy a conventional tree spade because it is cheaper than the Optimal product, but they do not realize that the heavier tree spade requires a bigger loader. The additional cost for the bigger loader usually exceeds the price saving of the "cheaper" tree spade. Besides, the bigger weight increases the soil compaction. Soil compaction impairs the growth of trees and it is very costly to improve the soil again. 

Caretree 40“ (101cm) OPTIMAL 1100 (45“)

Caretree 40“ (101cm) OPTIMAL 880 (36“)


Working Height Working height is the distance measured from the ground to the top of the spade cylinder. When the machine is too high, it will interfere with the lower branches of the tree. The lower branches have to be cut off which spoils the shape and beauty of the tree. Instead of maiming the tree to fit the machine, OPTIMAL keeps the working height as low as possible. Bigger tree spade models we furnish with telescopic cylinders. In other words, our machines adopt to the shape of the tree. A = working height

Rootball Dia.                                  Working Height

Optimal 1100 110 cm                      135 cm

Big John 42 107 cm                        152 cm

Big John 52 132 cm                        203 cm

Optimal 1400 140 cm                      180 cm

Big John 62 157 cm                        215 cm

   Vermeer 50“ (127 cm)                                                                                  OPTIMAL 1400 (55“)

The main reason for having tree nurseries is to save space. The yield of a nursery is expressed in trees per hectare. Therefore seedlings and trees are planted rather close, because space is money. If the spacing in nurseries must be larger only because the tree spade requires too much space due to the big working width, then the loss of yield on that space is more than the possible price savings of tree spades with big working widths. When doing landscaping work, you also encounter space problems. Quite often the tree spade has to work in crammed situations and then a compact tree spade is needed.


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