One tree care service you may need is tree cabling and bracing. A tree that's no longer structurally sound may need to be removed or have a limb taken off, but in some cases, this can be averted by adding structural bracing or cables. Here are the basics of how tree cabling and bracing works.
Definitions of Cabling and Bracing
Generally, cabling and bracing are support systems used to help your tree avoid structural failure. The difference between cabling and bracing, in general, is the materials used, which also affects the specific applications.
For instance, cabling typically uses metal cables, which are more flexible. These may be used to anchor a tree or a limb of the tree that needs support. The cables may stretch from the tree to the ground, or even from the tree to another tree. Bracing rods, on the other hand, are solid metal rods that can be placed between two branches if they have a weak junction.
How to Tell if Your Tree Needs Cabling and Bracing
Any sign that your tree is structurally unsound could indicate a need for cabling or bracing. Some of these signs that you may be able to identify include:
Keep in mind that any structural issues could make your tree a safety hazard, so call a tree care expert right away and stay away from the tree until it's been assessed. Some trees with obvious structural deficiencies may need removal, while others may do well with bracing or cabling. And remember, a tree expert may find less obvious signs of weakness as well.
Installing and Using Cables and Braces
After assessing your tree's weaknesses, your tree experts can move on to installing the support system. One downside of using cabling and bracing is that it often requires drilling through the tree trunk or limb. While this may be necessary to prevent structural failure, drilling into a limb does provide an opportunity for decay to enter the tree as well.
Once the cables and braces are installed, be sure to schedule regular inspections afterward. Although they're extremely strong, cables and braces can sometimes become damaged. Your tree care expert can inspect them to ensure they aren't about to fail and leave your tree without the support it needs.
These are some of the basics regarding how tree cabling and bracing works. However, the process and materials may vary somewhat depending on your contractor and the size and condition of your tree.