Cabling & Bracing

When trees grow large, spreading trunks there is often an increased danger of failure as the branch unions become overburdened by the stresses placed on them. The natural joinery of crotches has structural limits, and these limits can be reached when the natural weight of branches reaches a critical mass or is brought to that point by wind, rain, and ice storm events. When branch end weight reduction through thinning is not enough, it may be necessary to install a cable system that will mitigate the breaking forces at the unions. At Ward Tree Care we are skilled in assessing the potential for tree failure and qualified in the installation of cable systems using the most advanced products.

Cabling may be a good option in trees with large stems and tight “V” crotches. This Western Red Cedar in West Linn (see image below) may be a candidate for cable installation.

Cabling may be a good option in trees with large stems and tight ā€œVā€ crotches.

A Cobra cable system has been spliced together to form a dynamic union between these two Douglas-fir stems(see image below) at about 75 feet above the crotch at the base. The flex in the system allows the stems to sway slightly and grow, and the high strength of the cable prevents the stems from splitting apart. For more information on Cobra Cable, please visit www.cobranet.de (PDF document).

A Cobra cable system

For larger stems, bracing with through-rods may be appropriate. For long branches on select trees, a support brace may be needed. A support brace of milled white oak has here been installed beneath a long Japanese Flowering Cherry limb over a backyard patio. (see image below)

a brace is here installed to support the select cherry branch

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