(814) 201-9757

Cabling and Bracing The Right Way and The Wrong Way

Tree Cabling & Bracing are specific methods of reducing the chances that a tree part will fail by adding structural support. Cabling and Bracing is the process of installing flexible cables or rigid rods between two tree leads/branches with defective unions.

When installed properly, Cabling can strengthen weak tree structures and provide an inexpensive “insurance policy” against property damage. However, when installed improperly, Cabling can create additional hazards. This can happen when installed too low in the canopy or when the wrong cable strength is selected.

All trees have an inherent level of risk -- as even healthy trees can be damaged in a storm. It is important to consult with your Arborist Representative to determine if a Cable system or Bracing rods are the best solution for poor tree structure. Cable systems also have a lifespan and will need to be replaced over time (typically 10 years), so visually inspecting the Cable every year is part of our recommended best practices.

When To Consider Cabling & Bracing

Poor tree structure, such as when co-dominant stems have included bark, is when we want to consider Cabling and Bracing. When two tree stems get bigger over time, they will eventually grow into each other and essentially push each other apart. This, coupled with high winds, may lead healthy trees to fail and split.

Damaged trees, at times, can be restored by installing cables or bracing rods. Whether the tree has an active split or if the branch already failed, cable systems can help prevent further damage.

Hazard mitigation is another reason to cable and brace trees. When trees are planted near highly populated areas, such as playgrounds, it is important to make sure the large limbs will not fall and cause injuries or property damage.