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What Is Tree Cabling And Bracing?
Tree Cabling and bracing is the installation of steel cables and braces onto a tree to add support to its structure. The support is given to reduce stress damage caused by strong winds, the weight of heavy snow, ice, foliage, etc.
Cabling and bracing is also used to protect weaker joints against damage that can be caused by harsh weather. When the cables and braces have been installed properly, they restrict the movement of the limb and make it stiffer and less likely to snap off during rough weather. The cables and brace will see the weak limb through almost any kind of storm all year round.
Cabling and bracing also generally improves the health of the tree and makes it sturdier and longer lasting while at the same time maintaining its value. It also makes the tree safer for all the people around it and directly below it.
Why Do Tree Services Use Cabling and Bracing?
As mentioned earlier, trees with such structural problems may turn into a safety risk for you or anyone else around them. This is because when a large branch or limb finally fails and snaps off a tree, it can cause a lot of damage to property or even personal injury to whoever is in its way.
The fresh wound left behind may also lead to a decline of the health of the tree itself. Arborists and tree services use cabling and bracing to prevent all these eventualities whenever other alternatives such as complete removal of the tree cannot be used.
Some of these structurally weak trees may have significant value, or may not be easy to replace, and that is where tree services come in. Simply put, tree services use cabling and bracing as an alternative in situations where tree cannot be removed.
Cabling and Bracing Is Mostly Needed By Mature Trees
It is quite common to notice that many mature trees grow in awkward or irregular ways. This in some cases makes their physical structures unable to properly support even their own weight.
Such structural shortcomings are usually quite common in mature trees that have more than one trunk, or ones that have large open canopies.
As these trees continue to mature, they develop sharp “V” crotches where the stems or limbs meet. Such joints usually become weaker with time and make them a liability to the tree and a general safety hazard to anyone or any structure directly below it. In such a situation, a tree service will use cabling and bracing if cutting or removing the branch or limb is not an option.
Some of the Materials Used In Cabling and Bracing
• A pair of cable cutters
• A set of heavy-duty thimbles
• A set of heavy duty Cable clips
• An Extra high-strength tree cable
• Heavy duty nuts and washers
• A Common-grade tree cable
• A Strand dispenser
• A set of Tree grips
• A set of lag spinners
• Through bolts (Threaded metal rods)
• A set of drill bits
Pros and Cons of Tree Cabling and Bracing
• It offers people the chance to save valuable and irreplaceable trees, such as symbolic trees and trees in a garden or an arboretum.
• The procedure eliminates the danger of falling limbs, failing or falling trees.
• It restores the health, beauty and lives of trees, and also extends their longevity.
• It provides strength and structural support for weak trees.
• It offers a safe and better alternative to tree removal.
• It offers an alternative to the removal of weak branches.
• Provides support for unstable limbs and other stems.
• It helps conserve the environment by reducing the need to cut down trees simply because they are weak.
• The procedure may make the tree depend heavily on the braces and cables
• There is an added cost of yearly maintenance
• There are replacement costs, since the cables may need to be either removed or replaced every couple of years.
Weak and problematic limbs are not easily noticeable, so if you have more than a few trees, it would be advisable to contact a professional once in awhile so they can assess the trees. An experienced arborist will find all weak points that can be a cause for concern to your safety or the health of the tree.
Whatever maintenance you may need to perform on the tree after the cabling and bracing in most parts will be minimal. For the best results, make sure that occasionally, a professional inspects the hardware fixed to the tree.