Green Crown Arborworks
Tree Care & Consulting

Cabling & Bracing

Poor stem or limb connections, decay, or weak tree form can predispose trees to failure. In most cases, the best option is to either remove the weak part of the tree, or remove and replace the entire tree, thus eliminating the hazard completely.

Top failure in wind event due to poor attachment (included bark)

In cases where the tree has significant intrinsic value or where removal is not an immediate option, cabling or bracing can add supplemental support to a weak attachment, thereby reducing the risk of failure. Normally a cable is installed two thirds of the distance from the weak point of attachment to the top of the stem, to provide leverage for support. Bracing rods are normally installed through the weak attachment.

Trees do not heal themselves as we do. Rather, they compartmentalize wounds and decay to limit their spread to the rest of the tree. Therefore, the initial structural weakness will normally remain for the life of the tree, with the cabling or bracing system providing extra support. For this reason, cabling or bracing should be thought of as technique to prolong the useful life of an important tree, not as a permanent fix.

Because a cabled or braced tree will continue to grow after installation, with time the supplemental support may no longer be in an ideal position for leverage. Also, due to the dynamic structure of trees with respect to wind and snow loads, installed hardware may wear prematurely. Accordingly, the Best Management Practices guidelines of the International Society of Arboriculture suggest cabling & bracing systems should be inspected yearly following installation.

All of our cabling & bracing systems are installed as per the Best Management Practices guidelines of the International Society of Arboriculture as well as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A300.


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