Tree Cabling and Bracing

Trees can grow in such a manner that their physical structure can no longer support their own weight.  This is particularly common in mature multi-trunked trees and trees with open canopies.  Failure of a large branch or trunk can result in property damage, personal injury, or the decline of a tree’s health.  Cables and bracing rods are tools arborists use to protect or improve the structural integrity of trees.
As a tree grows, the angles that exist among limbs determine structural integrity.  Branches having a wide angle of attachment or a pronounced “U” shape will be stronger than that of a narrow “V” shape.  When a tree is young, the stress placed on a narrow angle of attachment is usually minimal.  However, as the tree matures the weight of the canopy and the additional load created by winds, snow, or wet foliage may be more than the attachment can support.  In the case of Oaks an Pecans, a heavy seed crop can cause limbs to split or break.  Properly placed cables can help redistribute the load allowing limbs to support each other, rather than moving independently.

Mature trees having a broad spreading canopy, such as Live Oaks, often have lower limbs that grow horizontally to the edge of the canopy.  Such limbs often droop lower with the weight of and additional year’s growth.  These limbs can be cabled to maintain a specific height or to provide clearance above a walk, drive, or roof.  Such cabling is an alternative to the removal of large branches.
Cabling and Bracing Multi-trunked Trees

By their very nature, multi-trunked trees are subject to failure.  Because each trunk competes for canopy space, the limbs and foliage grow away from the center of the collective trunks,  placing the wight load on one side of each trunk.  This factor, plus the competition for root space, results in the failure of multi-trunked trees at a rate greater than trees with single trunks.  Failure of any singular trunk can create a wound at the collective base that heals slowly, creating a site for opportunistic insects and diseases.  Cabling can substantially reduce the likelihood of structural failure.  Every cable installation is tree specific. 
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Hutchings Tree Service
3231 Tinker Hollow Road
Madison, NY 13402
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