Tree Cabling & Bracing
Many larger trees tend to have what’s called a ‘co-dominant’ stem or series of stems that protrude from the tree’s major trunk. These co-dominant stems can vary in size but are relatively comparable to the size of the tree’s existing trunk. If this is the case, larger co-dominant stems tend to put uneven, weighted pressure on the tree in one direction over the other, which can lead to leaning or improper balance of the tree’s structure. While it can’t necessarily be predicted if or when this will happen, using tree cabling and bracing techniques can help reduce it. The cabling and bracing processes are often sought out for mature trees in order to better preserve them.
The techniques we use to cable and brace trees require adequate training and skill. Such techniques are derived from measuring and analyzing the angles at which the tree is slumping, curving, or sloping, along with predicting and weighing how it can be adjusted. Simply adding a cable or brace to your tree or a branch will not necessarily reduce its uneven weight from one side of the tree to the other and misuse of the tools could actually lead to branches cracking or breaking. When we perform our cabling and bracing techniques, we do so with attention to detail and are aware of the surroundings. We do not want to damage the tree or cause harm to existing structures or other trees, so it’s important that all surrounding measures are taken into account.
When it’s Needed
If you’re unsure about when tree cabling and bracing may be needed, you should always consult with professional arborists beforehand to get a second opinion. If a tree is suffering from imbalance and a co-dominant stem or branch is removed, this doesn’t mean the tree will always be balanced again and may lead to further leaning. In such cases where your tree’s branches are drooping or your tree doesn’t appear to be growing evenly from the ground, we would often recommend cabling and bracing to preserve the tree.
In cases where a tree is defect or deformed, tree cabling is a suitable alternative in helping realign the tree. Cabling is done by attaching metal and wire cable to center of the tree’s main branches with screws or bolts and fastened with opposite fasteners for each branch to hold support. Another popular type of cabling sees the cable wires inserted into the ground for support at all angles. The type of cabling needed will often depend on the issue that your tree faces.
Similar to cabling, tree bracing is the practice of bonding the trees’ branches to better obtain balance. The difference, however, is that bracing is done using bolts that are screwed into the tree in or near cracked pressure points. These serve as physical bonding fasteners to keep the tree from cracking further or from having a branch that could potentially crack off as well.