Why Cabling & Bracing Trees is Important
For Preservation & Support
January 11, 2024
A tree is a majestic feature of nature, standing tall among other plants and structures. However, what seems strong and sturdy may require some additional support. Discover why cabling and bracing trees is important and when it’s necessary.
Why Cabling & Bracing Trees is Important
As all elements of nature, trees are exposed to harsh conditions and face challenges that could compromise their structural integrity. While healthy trees are better equipped to overcome these conditions, others may need more help.
Cabling and bracing are arboricultural techniques designed to stabilize trees. After an initial assessment of the tree, a series of cables and braces are strategically placed to provide appropriate support. Here are some of the reasons a tree may require these techniques.
- Restructuring. Disease, damage, and weak branches have the potential of crippling the tree. Cable and brace systems help alleviate stress on any weak points, reducing the likelihood of branches breaking or the entire tree collapsing.
- Safety. Weakened trees are a hazard, especially in urban areas. Help save the tree, surrounding property, and nearby people from a possible catastrophic event with the right support.
- Preservation. Some ancient sites contain mature trees that are part of historic events. Saving these trees not only enriches the landscape, but it also strengthens the connection to the past.
Which Trees Need Help
An untrained eye may have a hard time deciphering which tree needs the most help. This is why it’s important to have a professional arborist evaluate the tree to properly diagnose any issues. However, here are some signs to watch out for.
- Overgrown Trees. Large, mature trees with expansive canopies may experience increased stress due to their size. Proper tree pruning can help alleviate some of the weight. But cabling helps redistribute the load among major limbs, reducing the risk of branches breaking.
- Multiple Trunks. Ideally, a tree will have one main trunk. However, some naturally develop multiple trunks, which can lead to weak branch unions. Cabling provides essential support, preventing these unions from splitting and causing harm.
- Susceptible Species. Some types of trees are more prone to wind or storm damage, such as tall evergreens. Properly installed braces help reinforce weak or damaged branches, preventing them from breaking during harsh weather conditions.
There is a chance any tree could contract a disease or become damaged. That’s why it’s important to notify a professional at the first sign of weakness.
The Cabling & Bracing Process
Once you’ve noticed potential signs of weakness in a tree, it’s best to have it assessed by a certified arborist. They will be able to identify specific weak points, determine the tree’s overall health, and decide the appropriate course of action. If cabling and bracing are required, here’s what to expect:
- Material Selection. Sometimes the tree only needs steel cables for support. Other times a more non-invasive, flexible bracing rod needs to be installed. Whatever the case, the high-quality materials should be durable and weather-resistant for optimal support.
- Installation. Cables are usually installed above weak branch unions. Bracing involves more strategic placement of rods to reinforce weak crotches or splits. In each case, a professional tree care company should be the team to install the materials to ensure proper support.
- Maintenance. Regular inspection is required to help make sure the tree remains supported. Depending on the situation, sometimes the cable and braces can be safely removed. Other times they’ll need to remain installed for the life of the tree.
Investing in the health and longevity of trees not only benefits nature, but it also helps maintain a safe and beautiful environment. Contact Elite Tree Care for more information about cabling and bracing trees on your property that may need additional support.
Download Your FREE Tree Planting Guide
Planting a tree is a cinch, as long as you are properly prepared. Get prepped to plant one tree or 100 with our straightforward guide.