More than just a tree...
For many of us, trees hold a special place in our hearts. They are the unwavering structure in the back of your childhood photos or your favorite place to pass as you walk through the park. But just as those photos fade through aging, so do your trees. Although they can live to be thousands of years old, they aren’t indestructible. When they become unsteady, what are your options if you don’t want to cut them down?
Tree cabling and bracing are part of a collection of different techniques used by arborists and technicians to try to stabilize trees. When trees become unstable, they need to either be reinforced or removed. But what causes this? The primary cause is mother nature; wind, snow, and ice can put a lot of weight and stress on the branches and trunks. Another reason is weak roots or dense foliage. And lastly, split or cracked limb structures.
Periodically checking your trees is a vital part of this process. Some of the signs to watch out for are cracking or splitting in the tree. Another sign is if the tree is v-crotch/co-dominant. Co-dominant stems are two or more stems that grow out from a single point in the tree. They also can mimic a 'v' shape, hence the name.
Why is cabling and bracing used? Prevention, preservation, and protection. By using this method, you're attempting to reduce the chance of limb failures on an otherwise average tree. On occasion, you're just merely motivated to save the tree because of its aesthetic value. Lastly, and quite possibly, most importantly, is protection. These lumbering structures are as magnificent as they are hazardous. You must be mindful of its location and if it poses a risk to a populated outdoor area or a home.
When done correctly, cabling and bracing can add many years to an otherwise healthy tree, as well as prevent damage to the surrounding property. You must establish that the tree is sturdy enough to endure this process. Making an investment like this can be worth it, but it doesn't have the same effect on a rotting tree. This is why an arborist must come and inspect the tree before anyone works on it.
With that said, let's talk about the process itself. First and foremost, you must consult with an arborist and tree technician. They will be able to determine the healthiness of the tree and the proper next steps. If it's collectively decided that cabling and bracing is the right decision, the tree technician will do an initial pruning of the branches and then climb into the tree and see where to place the bracing and cables. At this point, holes will be drilled directly through both stems, and a cable threaded through them. Proper tension is set up using a set of pulley systems. If the cable is too tight, it can put excessive stress on the wood fibers.
Once everything is installed and properly secured, it is crucial to keep an eye on the structure going forward. Make sure to watch out for broken or hanging limbs, slack or fraying in the cabling, and animal nests near the system, especially squirrels.
Woodie's is an experienced tree service and management group that has experience from A to Z, including cabling and bracing. Cabling and bracing is a very intense process that relies on communication from both the owner of the tree and the business entrusted with preserving it. To stay ahead of these issues, make sure to maintain your trees regularly and keep up with pruning. Be aware of your tree's environment and any changes in its health.
In need of a free consultation for one of your trees? Reach out to Woodie’s Tree Service today!