If you can clearly see that you have a leaning tree on your property, it’s time to take steps to protect it from the upcoming winter weather. Weak limbs and structural deficiencies can become a defined hazard. Especially if they have to potential to lead to property damage or injury to a person.
One option to protect the tree, and everything around it, is by cabling and bracing. The benefits of cabling and bracing your tree include:
•Reducing damage or harm that can be caused if the tree is near a home or business.
•Extending the life of a tree that has suffered structural damage.
•Preventing breakage of those with heavy limbs and “V” crotches.
•Protecting young trees that have a large trunk with a small root system, or grow in an area with frequent high winds or arid soil.
Brace rods are used to repair a split crotch or branch, and they typically use at least one cable for support. Brace rods are threaded into the tree in the best configuration that will support the tree and allow continued growth. The rods become a permanent fixture as the tree grows completely around the hardware.
Cable systems can be direct, triangular, box, or hub and spoke. The movement of the branch is typically restricted when cabled. Static or dynamic cables, anchors, and termination hardware for anchor connection are commonly used.
have more elasticity and can be used to strengthen a relatively healthy tree. These cables are usually made of synthetic fiber that has a high UV resistance. They allow the tree to move in a natural way.
are traditionally constructed of steel. They are used when a tree is in imminent danger of failing. Steel cables restrict natural tree movements, though most trees will adapt to cables that are properly installed. Though steel cables are strong, they are not guaranteed against failure.
All types of cabling and bracing systems should be maintained and inspected periodically. The material used in dynamic systems will erode and break down over time, and both systems must be moved higher as the tree grows. Slacking can occur as the tree goes through extreme weather conditions and growth that can cause structural and support changes. Both systems should be maintained at least two-thirds of the distance from the compromised area to the top of the tree.
When it comes to everything that is involved in the bracing and cabling of a tree, it’s important to seek help from a professional. This ensures that everything from the materials, hardware, location, and formation is done right from the very start. Not all defects can be corrected by a tree support system, but a professional can give your tree the best chance to be well. Be sure that you discuss the inspection schedule before you choose to have any type of support system installed.