Tree Cabling and Bracing
Tree cabling and bracing are installed as support mechanisms to enhance the strength of weak branches, stems, trunks and crotches. Failure of a large branch or trunk can result in property damage, personal injury, or the decline of a tree’s health.
Trees can grow in such a manner that their physical structure can no longer support their own weight. This is particularly common in mature multi-trunked trees and trees with open canopies.
By reducing the risk of branch or limb failure, Tree cabling and bracing can help improve the safety of your trees for those trees that are worth preserving. Cables and bracing rods are tools arborists use to protect or improve the structural integrity of trees.
Tree Cabling and Bracing Overview
The installation of cables and bracing rods, along with pruning to reduce end-weight can reduce the likelihood of a structural failure. Braces are rods positioned through the meeting of weaker branches to provide support during storms of high winds or heavy rains.
Properly installed cables help to redistribute structural stress, and bracing rods can provide support to branch attachments deemed weak. High-strength steel cables are connected to bolts which have been installed in the tree’s crown. A combination of cabling and bracing can successfully address existing splitting limbs and trunks.
Similar to braces, cables are designed to limit the action of the respective, weakened limbs during times of duress. A Certified Arborist can best determine if your trees can benefit from the installation of cables and bracing rods.
Cabling and Bracing Mature Trees
Mature trees having a broad spreading canopy, such as Live Oaks, often have lower limbs that grow horizontally to the edge of the canopy. Such limbs often droop lower with the weight of and additional year’s growth.
As a tree grows, the angles that exist among limbs determine structural integrity. Branches having a wide angle of attachment or a pronounced “U” shape will be stronger than that of a narrow “V” shape. It might sound like a fairly simple process, however, there is a significant amount of skill, experience and expertise required to safely protect the living tree while protecting its health and longevity.
When a tree is young, the stress placed on a narrow angle of attachment is usually minimal. However, as the tree matures the weight of the canopy and the additional load created by winds, snow, or wet foliage may be more than the attachment can support.
Cabling and Bracing Split Trees
Tree Cabling and Bracing is sometimes used to save a tree with a split trunk, for example; without cabling, such trunks will eventually be torn apart. When such splits are found, immediate attention is needed to prevent complete failure.
Trees with trunks that have narrow angles of branch attachments may develop vertical splits.
Such cracks are often a result of structural stress or storm damage.
When such an operation is called for, it can be performed with a variety of goals in mind, such as:
- To save the health of the tree (a compromised trunk or branch is an “open wound” that invites harmful fungi, etc. into the insides of your specimen).
- To preserve its appearance (a tree that has lost a major limb may forever afterwards appear lopsided).
- If it is a large tree located right near a home, cabling could be necessary in order to keep a large branch from falling on the house, thereby causing property damage.
- If a large, unstable branch is hanging over a walk path, it poses a risk to anyone using the it. This includes not only you and your family, but also guests — who could sue you for injuries should the branch ever fall on them.
It is always in your best interest to have a certified arborist assess your trees, pointing out all signs of weakness and where cabling may be needed.
Our service at Arrow Tree and Landscaping is quick, great for the health of your tree and always performed by professionals. Our cables are very strong and will need minimal maintenance. However, they should still be inspected periodically to ensure the tree and area remains safe.