What Tree Cabling Is and Why It Matters
What is tree cabling?
Cabling a tree involves bracing weaker or poorly positioned branches to the trunk or a larger branch via cables or rods. The cable is durable but flexible enough to allow the branch to grow, albeit in a more controlled fashion that is less likely to cause it to fall. Professional arborists and tree care professionals perform cabling only after determining that the tree will benefit from the process.
Why is tree cabling important?
As a tree grows, it uses a significant portion of its nutrients for branch growth and expansion. However, not all branches will receive equal sunlight and nourishment, and some may start interfering with one another. For example, a weaker branch might begin growing at an odd angle or overextend beyond its carrying capacity, which presents a risk of it falling from the tree entirely.
Tree cabling can be performed as a preventative or a curative measure to stop branches from breaking off. In most cases, the base of the branch or trunk will start cracking under pressure. The cables help bind the branches to a different base and stay on the tree if they don’t pose any danger.
Cabling can also add a degree of structural support for the trunk to encourage growing longer, more dense foliage. This can have a positive effect on the tree’s overall appearance and luster.
When to have trees cabled?
If a homeowner notices a tree branch that looks out of place, starts growing at odd angles, or is at risk of breaking off from the trunk, then tree cabling might be due. However, the only way to know for certain is to contact a professional arborist or tree service technician. They can inspect the trees and assess whether the branch can be saved with cables or braces or if it would need to be removed.
Tree cabling is a relatively straightforward process. A technician will drill holes in the branch that needs more support and a stronger limb that can withstand the added stress. The cable or bracing rod is cut to the correct length, inserted through the holes, and secured. A pulley system can then pull the two limbs together to ensure proper safety and support. The cable should be taut but still allow the branch to grow outwards. A cable that is too tight might compromise the branches.
If you notice a weak spot in the tree or a part of the trunk or branch that is starting to split, contact a professional immediately. Tree cabling is most effective when performed as soon as the first warning signs show.