Whether it's a young sapling that you are hoping to strengthen stability or a mature tree that is showing signs of potential damage or cracks you should consider using cables to give stability to the overall structure. Heading into the spring season in the midwest we will be having periodic storms that can produce high winds and if you're not aware of damage to large trees they can fall causing large amounts of damage. It is always a good idea to have a certified arborist come to your property to inspect any trees you notice with cracks or potential weak spots. This determines whether cabling will benefit the trees future health. This will not only protect the tree but any structures near it saving you from large losses in property damage.
There are a few reasons we would consider installing cables to stabilize trees:
The Process of Installing Cables:
The first step in the process is assessing the tree and identifying whether it actually needs cables or they will benefit the tree. If the tree will benefit you then need to decide the proper type of cabling and hardware. Then a proper spot on the tree needs to be identified making sure the wood in the tree is structurally sound allowing for proper support. Pruning and cutting of some branches may be necessary to remove some weight from the broken or cracked areas of the tree.
There are different types of cabling such as dynamic cables which have much higher elasticity and can be utilized to help stabilize a healthier tree. The synthetic fibers have a high UV resistance and allow the tree more room for more natural movement. Static cables are traditionally made with steel cables and are utilized more when there is imminent danger and the tree is showing signs of collapse in the near future. They allow far less movement than static cables by greatly restricting movement and hold the tree firmly in place. Brace rods are used where a tree is splitting in two helping hold the two sides together and are used in combination with at least one-rod support. Assuming cables are properly installed the trees should adapt to the installed cables and grow freely.
After the cabling systems have been installed they should be checked and maintained. Over time the rods may show signs of wear. Eventually, the system may need to be moved or replaced depending on how much the tree is growing to accommodate the expanding canopy.
Always remember when considering cabling for one of your trees you should consult with a professional first. The main reasons for cabling are reducing or mitigating any potential damage that may occur from an imminent fall. The best practice is to always prevent any damage beforehand saving you thousands in potential property damage.