Cabling & Bracing Trees – Explained in Detail

Cabling & Bracing Trees - Explained in Detail

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Emergency tree situations do not always mean that they need to be removed. In some circumstances, they can be saved by supporting the branches or attaching them to nearby buildings with cables. In this article, we will explain what cables and anchors are, the difference between them, and when we use one or the other method to help your trees.

It is difficult to imagine life on our planet without plants. Humanity cannot fully exist without gardens, parks, and forests, and all living creatures in the ecosystem depend primarily on the presence of trees. 

However, they, like all living things, can be destroyed. It happens for various reasons: adverse weather conditions, improper pruning, destruction of the root system, diseases, and parasites.

You should remember that some fruit trees produce a rich harvest, which weighs down their branches considerably and can cause the entire tree to fall. A falling tree can destroy someone’s property and cause serious harm to a person.

Therefore, such a tree should not be left unattended.

There is an opinion that you must cut down trees in emergency conditions. However, it is not. You can extend the life of both damaged trees of scientific or historical value and those that, for some reason, are dear to the owner.

When Are Trees in Disrepair?

The tree can be considered an emergency in the following cases:

  • The slope of trees. The slope is a serious cause that needs to be addressed as quickly as possible, as it can gradually deteriorate and lead to dire consequences. 
  • Bifurcation of the trunk. It occurs less frequently but requires timely amplification.
  • Cracking. The appearance of a crack on the trunk may indicate the beginning of the destruction of the tree, so it is essential to start strengthening it as soon as possible.
  • The presence of large branches. Long, heavy branches can cause the tree to collapse, which is dangerous for nearby people. 

Cabling or bracing is used depending on the state of an emergency or potentially dangerous facility.

What Is Cabling?

Cabling is the strengthening of a tree or large branches with ropes, chains, and steel cables attached to nearby trees or a building. This system is effective in cases where the tree cannot independently withstand its weight and the resulting loads from wind or snow adhesion.

The cabling uses the following amplification methods.

Rigid cable is based on the use of steel cables. The service life of the wires is over 20 years.

Dynamic, using nylon ropes with a service life of about ten years.

The emergency tree is strengthened in one of these ways, adhering to the principle – not to harm the tree and not to violate the integrity of the bark.

The main steps of the work are:

  • evaluation and measurements (determining height, tension force, selection of tree bolt, type of attachment);
  • installing bolts in drilled holes in the tree;
  • squeezing the branches over the bolt attachment point (about 4 inches);
  • cable installation;
  • antiseptic treatment of compounds.

The attachment method is selected individually, depending on the condition and size of the tree.

The method has the following advantages:

  • Efficiency. This use of cables allows you to forget many problems associated with a particular tree. You should also pay attention to the fact that both trunks and the root system are strengthened at the same time.
  • Low cost. Cabling has a meager price, so it is available to many people.

Even in the simplest case, when it is necessary to fix several horizontal branches, years of experience and professionalism are required. Otherwise, the cable system will not work. 

What Is Bracing?

Bracing is a technology for strengthening emergency trees with metal ties, braces, clamps, or hairpins. They are used when longitudinal and transverse cracks occur. This technology extends the life of the tree. For example, bracing is often used to strengthen fruit trees.

The main stages of work:

The first step is fixing the elements of the tree, then setting the anchors and other parts. At this stage, the system is finally fixed and ready for work. And the last step is testing. A complete check is performed.

The main advantages of the method that customers note:

  • Reliability. Because of the use of metal elements, the process is reliable.
  • Durability. After the competent installation of all the elements, you can not worry that the system will soon fail because it has a very long service life. Additional maintenance is also not required.

Cabling and bracing are technically challenging operations that only specially trained personnel can handle. Specialists of the TheTreeDudes company have sufficient experience and qualifications to provide such services. We will assess the object’s condition and suggest the most effective way to enhance it.