Tree cabling is the use of cables to stabilize a tree’s physical structure in cases where the tree can no longer support its own weight. Cabling cannot be used to keep unhealthy, dying trees from falling apart. Instead, cabling is used to assists healthy but oddly shaped or slightly injured trees maintain their structural integrity during heavy winds or storms.
If caught early structural issues can usually be solved through strategic pruning. However, after a tree is mature most structural issues will require tree cabling or bracing.
Prevention: Support systems are used in prevention when a healthy tree has some structural issues that are spotted during a routine inspection. Installing a support system in these scenarios reduces the chance of the structural issues causing damage to people or property.
Restoration: Support systems are used for restoration when a tree has been damaged by a storm, construction work, or extreme temperatures. By cabling in this situation, you can maintain what’s left of the healthy structure of the tree and protect it from future damage.
Mitigation: Support systems are used to mitigate risks in healthy trees without structural issues that are in areas where considerable damage to people or property could occur if the tree was to fall unexpectedly.
Signs You Need Tree Cabling:
Tree Cracks: Cracking or splitting in the trunk of your tree is a sign of a potentially serious structural issue, and may require a support system. If you notice a crack call an arborist to check it out.
V-Crotch/Co-Dominate Stems: Co-dominant stems are two or more stems that grow upward from a single point of origin. They usually create the image of a “V”, hence the name V-Crotch. As the tree’s branches grow, V-Crotches become weak spots in the tree. V-crotches are likely to split and cause the tree to fall.
Leaning Tree: Trees normally have a little lean to them. A tree trunk curves because of the tree’s ability to adapt over time to the changing availability of sunlight. The tree’s root system will grow to accommodate this off-center weight distribution. However, if a tree suddenly begins to lean, starts leaning after a storm, or if the soil around the tree is cracked/heaving your tree may have a structural issue that requires tree cabling.
Types of Cabling:
Dynamic Cabling System allows for movement, flexibility, and controls the branches from splitting. A properly installed cabling system should not be highly visible but should blend in with the tree’s trunk and branches.
Other Cabling Systems: Depending on the species and condition of the tree, other systems may be recommended such as steel or rod tree bracing. Our Certified Arborists can recommend the system that works best for your trees.
Already Have A Cabling System?
Have your system inspected by a certified Arborist yearly to make sure the system is intact and safe. Throughout the year keep an eye out for warning signs.
Warning Signs Include:
- Broken or hanging limbs
- Slack in the cabling
- Fraying on the cables
- Animal nests near the cabling system (especially squirrels)
Book an appointment online or call 703.573.3029 for a consultation on tree cabling.