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County Tree Service

Bracing and Cabling- Getting Ready for Winter


Depending on where you live, your storm season will determine when you should prepare your trees for Storm season. Here in NC, we have already started seeing the effects of damaging storms like Hurricane Ian on our trees.  Severe storms can roll into town with their vicious winds so every active step you take now can reduce wreckage, costs, and risk later. Structural failure of a large branch, trunk, or root system can result in significant property damage, personal injury, or fatality. It can also cause the decline of a tree’s health over time.


How to prepare your trees for the storms to come

Tree cabling and bracing is a proactive and preventative technique to support a tree with poor or weak structure. It is commonly used to reduce stress damage on your tree from high winds, weight of ice or snow, and heavy foliage. When you cable a tree, you can avoid long-term problems like inefficient growth and dangerously weak branches. Tree cabling is a common solution that can help many homeowners keep their trees safe in the long run. This work must be done by trained professionals, as it requires an understanding of tree structure and physics. And there is always the possibility of the tree breaking further or falling over, making the work dangerous or even lethal.

What Are Cables and Bracing Rods

Cables and bracing rods are simply tools used to add support and to limit the movement of those supported branches, so they are less likely to fail during storms.

Tree cabling involves installing steel support cables to reinforce and strengthen the upper canopy of your tree. When installed, they will be hard to spot in the months when the canopy is full, and your trees will be beautiful and supported.

Bracing requires the placing steel rods through bolts which are installed on the trunk to help prevent a crack from widening. These rods help the tree to bend and move with the wind while providing the right amount of stability. These tree bracing rods contribute to making your tree less prone to injury, as well as less potential damage to property and power lines.

Cabling cannot be used to keep unhealthy, dying trees from falling apart. It’s used to assist healthy, but oddly shaped or slightly injured trees maintain their structural integrity during heavy winds or storms. Although installing rods and/or cables offers additional support, it does NOT offer any guarantee the tree will not fail in the future. Remember ALL trees can fail given the right circumstances, regardless of their size.

Signs You Need Tree Cabling

Tree Cracks: Cracking or splitting in the trunk of your tree is a sign of a potentially serious structural issue and may require a support system. If you notice a crack call us immediately to check it out.

V-Crotch/Co-Dominate Stems: Co-dominant stems are two or more stems that grow upward from a single point of origin. They usually create the image of a “V”, hence the name V-Crotch. As the tree’s branches grow, V-Crotches become weak spots in the tree. V-crotches are likely to split and cause the tree to fall.

Leaning TreeTrees normally have a little lean to them.  A tree trunk curves because of the tree’s ability to adapt over time to the changing availability of sunlight. The tree’s root system will grow to accommodate this off-center weight distribution.  However, if a tree suddenly begins to lean, starts leaning after a storm, or if the soil around the tree is cracked/heaving your tree may have a structural issue that requires tree cabling.

If you suspect there may be an issue with a certain tree or trees this winter, it is best to call the professionals at County Tree Service, Inc., immediately to remedy the situation quickly. (704) 568-7202.  Our experienced team will inspect and determine the right procedure needed. Here at County Tree Service, we are all about saving your beautiful trees and keeping them in the best shape possible.