Cabling and Bracing

Tree Cabling & Bracing

Trees will grow where sunlight is available and when soil conditions are favorable. Even sometimes trees will grow in unfavorable conditions. Some limbs may tend to have a growth branch structure that is over-extended. Once the ends of the branches become tip heavy, cabling embracing may be the solution.

Cabling helps prevent limbs from over-extending to the point of failure. These systems need inspection after 5-10 years. A schedule of inspection may depend on the type of cabling system, or through rod/threaded rod.

Poor branching unions (‘tree crotches or 'V's in the tree") may cause the use of the cable. A wide branch union is ideal. This is because of the top wood forms and protects the union from its structure failing. This shows when a large tree section splits from the base of its branch union.

cabling and bracing tree care | G&V Tree Service

Cables are supplemental structural supports, intended to reduce the risk of failure from weak branches and multiple stems.

Braces or Through-Rods are threaded rods that are installed through unions of weak branches and multiple stems to provide more rigid support from torsional (twisting) forces that can occur at the tree's base.

When the angle of attachment is too narrow or acute, the top wood doesn’t form. Instead, a small opening or void appears. This opening allows water to collect. This begins decomposition and introduction to pests. The holding wood forms on the sides of the branch union. These unions become unsound and pose a risk.

Steel Cables
We only use high-strength steel for our cables which we install in the tree using eyebolts. This solution is suitable for large limbs that need extra support. Weight ratings differ between sizes.

Dynamic Cables
This is a new system of cabling which does not penetrate the wood with a steel eyebolt. The rope opening allows the tree to grow without restricting diameter growth. We then insert a shock absorber between the two limbs inside the cable. The system may must more inspection than steel cables. This allows the tree to grow without penetrating the internal wood structure. This option is great for trees with over-extending branches. Also works great with weak branch unions.

Bracing/Through-bolts
When branch unions need extra support, we install a threaded-rod through the unions. In essence, the threaded rod protects the branch union from splitting. This is especially great for some trees with many stems at the base. In some cases, split limbs on small trees are back together. The last method requires a vigorous growing pattern. We recommend through-bolts on a case by case basis.

All existing tree cables and through rods/threaded rods need routine inspection. Meant for supplemental support, but isn't a full proof limb failure prevention. Arborist must examine the tree's structure before installing cabling.

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