Arboricultural Services of Northcoast Tree Care - Cabling & Bracing

Occasionally, trees can benefit from artificial support.  There are several methods, some of which are defined in professional standards (see Tech. Res.).  It is important to accept that these methods are intended to help keep trees from breaking; they are not guarantees.

The most common treatment is the installation of flexible cable.  Unless the tree only has two main trunks (such as a double trunk conifer), it is always best to install a minimum of three cables.  The type of cable material and its placement within the crown requires an understanding of the methods outlined in the standards.  
             
The best application for cabling is when one or more of the main trunk attachments is prone to splitting.  Certain anatomical features define this.  Sometimes visible cracks present an early warning.

In addition to cables in the upper crown area, steel rods can be installed in the area where splitting occurs (usually the lower trunk area).   This treatment relies heavily on experienced guess-work.  Every tree is different and there are few proven guidelines.

Large, low lateral limbs can be supported from the ground with props.  These are constructed per the uniqueness of each tree, the site it is growing in and the aesthetic parameters of the tree owner.  Propping is not done very often due to expense.  But certain trees in certain locations are worthy of it.


Tree cabling requires specialized equipment and materials.


Proper placement of cables in a tree requires an understanding of tree dynamics and defects.


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