Cabling & Bracing
Trees may lose their structural integrity due to pests, disease, or the weather. Cabling and bracing can help to support a tree which may avoid you having to remove the tree outright. If you have a tree on your property that you're concerned about or looks like it may need some support, contact us to have an assessment from one of our Certified Arborists.
What Is Tree Cabling?
Cabling a tree is the process of bracing poorly positioned or weaker branches to the trunk or positioning a bigger branch using rods or cables. The cable is strong but flexible enough to let the branch continue growing in a more comfortable and controlled manner without the possibility of falling. Our tree care professionals and arborists can only conduct cabling after evaluating the tree and proving that it will benefit from the cabling process.
What Is Tree Bracing?
Tree bracing is similar to tree cabling. In tree bracing, stakes are used to brace a tree in order to provide support to the tree trunk as its roots develop into a sturdy system. But bracing a tree when it doesn’t require any support can be counterproductive. In order to know whether bracing is necessary or not, try to check the size of the tree and its root ball.
For example, a young or small tree with a tall trunk will need bracing because the roots are not adequate to support the larger trunk. There are basically two types of bracing: small tree bracing a larger tree bracing. You can brace a tree if you realize the diameter of its tree trunk is below two inches using one stake. But a tree with a trunk diameter above two inches will require several stakes for proper bracing.
Benefits of Tree Cabling and Bracing
As a tree grows, a good amount of its nutrients is used for branch growth and expansion. But not all branches will get the same amount of sunlight and nourishment. This can cause some branches to start interfering with others. For instance, a weaker branch may start growing at an unusual angle or carry weight beyond its capacity.
Tree cabling and bracing can be done as a preventive or curative measure to prevent branches from falling down. If left unattended, the base of the trunk or branch may start to crack because of pressure. Cables or braces help in binding the branches to an alternative base on the tree as long as they don’t pose any danger. Additionally, cabling can add some level of structural support for the trunk to encourage it to grow longer.
When Should You Cable or Brace a Tree?
If you notice a tree branch looking out of place, growing at odd angles or at risk of breaking away from the trunk, then that could be a sign that cabling or bracing is needed. But the best way to determine if your tree requires cabling is to talk to one or tree surgeons.
What to Expect From the Tree Cabling and Bracing Process
Tree cabling involves installing a single cable onto the limb of a weak or compromised tree and connecting it to another, stronger limb. The cable is flexible, reducing but not restricting movement and growth. This bracing technique gives much-needed support to weaker limbs and reduces the risk of complete structural failure. Bracing rods are also used in severe cases where a cable doesn't offer adequate support.
The process starts with a one of our tree technicians drilling holes in a branch that requires support. The bracing or cable rod is then cut to the right length, placed in the holes and secured properly. Then they will use a pulley system to pull the two stems tightly together until they're in the optimal position for stability.
When the job is done, the cable should be taught -- not too tight and not too taught. If the cable is too tight, it'll have adverse effects and put more strain on the already weak tree limb.
On the flip side, if the cable is too loose, it won't provide the right amount of support. Once the arborist finds the perfect position, they'll set it and add a finishing cap for a more finished appearance.
Contact our team at Minnesota Tree Surgeons to determine if you need one of your trees cabled or braced today!