Cabling & Bracing: Strengthen Your Trees for Storms
June 16, 2015
Did you lose a tree, or perhaps some large branches, in this spring's storms? All over town, soil heaving and poor pruning have caused trees to uproot and fall over or lose large limbs. If you have a large established tree that may have some hazard branches, or an established tree with co-dominant trunks, then you might need to consider a cabling and bracing system.
What is a co-dominant trunk?
Does your tree have two, or possibly even three strong trunks that join in the middle? As each trunk grows and becomes heavier, the tree weakens at the point where the trunks join. Eventually, the tree could split down the middle. Sometimes it splits during an ice or rain storm. Often trees with co-dominant trunks split due to poor pruning that has left too much weight at the ends of branches. Sometimes the trunks can split simply due to the weight of the tree and gravity. A fallen tree can cause big property damage; even worse, it could cause injury to you, your family members or neighbors.
How cabling and bracing works
If you have a tree with co-dominant trunks, it is very important to have them properly pruned so that the weight of the canopy is distributed equally. If there is too much canopy weight at the ends of the branches it may only take one good gust of wind or rainfall to split the tree. Trees are often pruned improperly in order to let more light in for the lawn underneath. Most homeowners don’t realize they’re doing this at the potential cost of losing their beloved tree.
While tree removal is never ideal, sometimes it is necessary for the safety of you and your property. Of course we always try to avoid removing trees if we can. Installing cabling and bracing to help stabilize a tree is often a good alternative to tree removal.
Cabling involves the attachment of a flexible steel cable between branches to limit excessive limb motion and to reduce stress on branches or crotches (where large branches or co-dominant trunks meet). Sometimes trees are cabled together for added support.
Bracing uses bolts or threaded rods to rigidly secure weak or split crotches, unite split trunks or branches and hold rubbing limbs together or apart. Our certified Arborists will always assess the tree to be sure this extensive process is worth your time, effort and money in order to save the tree.
We install American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved cable to support co-dominant trunks; then attach a flexible steel cable between the branches to limit excessive limb motion and reduce stress on the branches.
Investing in your tree’s health today can potentially save you thousands in property damage during the next big storm. Plus, a large, established tree can’t be replaced. Preserving your tree with good quality cabling is often well worth the cost. To learn more about cabling and bracing services, visit our services page here.