Cabling and Bracing
Older trees need a bit of help. Instead of removing a tree altogether, instead you can support it through the use of cabling and bracing.
What is cabling?
To give support to an aging or damaged tree, cables can be installed. They are placed high in the tree, and always above where the defect is. The usual measurement is 2/3 of the way between where the defect is, such as a weakened limb and the end of the limb.
Chances are that a bit of maintenance needs to be performed to install the cables. This can include pruning around the limb so there isn’t unnecessary weight involved. Once a spot has been located, a hole is drilled through both limbs. Then, the cable is inserted and pulled taut between the two limbs.
Just remember that a certified arborist needs to inspect the cable annually. This ensures there has been no damage overtime.
What is bracing?
Bracing is another way to support a damaged or weakened tree. It can be used with cabling for better prevention or used on its own if the tree has split.
If you see a tree that looks like it’s been split in half at the bottom, then it is a good candidate for bracing. The tree trunk has formed two separate trunks which is not as structurally sound as one. This can cause many potential issues, so bracing is used to keep the tree.
To perform bracing, bolts are installed on the two split limbs. Then, a cable is attached and pulled taut. Bracing is usually placed under the weakened area to provide extra support. Sometimes only one brace is needed but sometimes two or three are installed.
Reasons for cabling and bracing
Prevention: Instead of removing the entire tree or multiple limbs, you can support a damaged or weak limb. Small issues become larger over time and a bit of help now will keep your tree alive well into the future.
Preservation: Instead of removing a damaged limb, a cable or brace can keep it intact. This is done if the limb helps to enhance the aesthetics of the tree. Trees take a long time to reach maturity. If you have a tree you love, give it a bit of attention so that it remains with you.
Protection: Instead of hoping a windstorm doesn’t bring the damaged or weakened tree down, you can secure it so that it won’t fall on your home. As trees grow the spread themselves over houses. Have an expert inspect your mature trees so that a support system can be installed before branches start to break off.
When you add cables or braces to your tree, you’re giving it an artificial advantage. As such, more maintenance is needed. An arborist will need to examine the cabling once per year to ensure it is still in the right positioning and the weakened limbs don’t have any more damage.
Also known as conifers, evergreen trees don’t lose their leaves. It is best to prune them in late winter to early spring.
Yes, your tree will still continue to grow. Now that it has the proper support it may grow in a better direction, such as away from your home. It also won’t grow sideways. However, because it grows, the cables and bracing will need to be inspected to ensure the right tension is still there.
There are definitely times when you want to remove a tree. But before you chop down every tree that has a problem, please think about all the facts. Mature trees take many years to grow large enough to provide the shade that you need. Likewise, if it is a fruit tree, these take several years of growth before they produce fruit. A tree is more than just a dollar figure. If it has a purpose and you like looking at it, then spending the money on cabling and bracing is worth it.
Our tree experts will perform a full inspection of your tree to decide on the best path forward. If they don’t think cabling and bracing will save the tree, they won’t recommend it. While nothing is ever a guarantee, our team knows what they are doing and will properly install the cable and bracing. An annual inspection is a further guarantee that the tree has a really good chance of being saved. With each inspection, the cables can be modified and any further damage reported and fixed.
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We are a professional, family run business dedicated to the health of trees and the surrounding environment. We care about the health of your trees, shrubs and plants. Most of all, we truly appreciate your customers. We provide services to accommodate your most creative outdoor ideas to emergency storm damage.