We frequently come upon trees with poor structure that are past the point of corrective pruning. These trees can, at times, have their structure improved by installing cables or bracing hardware in them to help support weak crotches in the trees, reducing the chance of failure of defective unions.
Cabling and bracing is meant to help with:
- Prevention: Installing cables and braces will reduce the chance of failure on a healthy tree with structural defects if installed correctly.
- Restoration: A damaged tree can have a longer life if these support systems are added. There are times that essential structural elements are lost and these systems can sometimes help remaining tree branches to withstand their new, more vulnerable conditions.
Cables are installed high in the tree, at least 2/3 the distance from the defect to the crown. These cables are attached to anchors that are screwed into the wood of the tree. Braces are installed much lower in a tree, just above and/or below the defect. Cables are stronger support systems than rods because of their greater leverage. However, there may be situations where bracing is also an added recommendation. Cabling and bracing isn’t always recommended. Sometimes, no matter how many of these you install in a tree, it still poses substantial hazard potential and a better recommendation would be to remove the tree. However, if the tree is basically healthy and a Certified Arborist can install these support systems in the tree, anchoring into healthy wood, it could substantially reduce the potential for failure. It’s not a guarantee against future failure, but it can help.
Cabling and bracing isn’t a one-time operation. This hardware should be visually be inspected as they need to be repositioned and replaced as trees grow and also can be compromised in high wind situations. Not just anyone can properly cable and/or brace a tree. Part of Certified Arborist training covers the appropriate usage, installation, inspection, and maintenance of these support systems for trees. Be sure to hire and/or consult with a Certified Arborist that has successfully installed cables and braces in many types of trees in various situations.
If you are concerned about a tree on your property, we would love a chance to give you a free consultation for tree services, so don’t hesitate to contact us.
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