Cabling and Risk Mitigation

As a tree matures the spreading canopy can exert huge forces on the structural limbs and trunk of the tree. Usually the tree develops in such a way as to anticipate and support those forces, but in some cases a system of supporting cables in the canopy is needed to reinforce the entire tree structure.  If nothing is done in these cases to prevent failure of limbs or splitting of the trunk, the tree and targets under the tree can be in danger during ice, snow, or wind storms.

The following risk signs might indicate that cabling is warranted:
  1. A tree with two or more large co-dominant leaders that split lower than 20 feet high.
  2. A tree with an unbalanced canopy especially when the heavy side of the canopy is over a valuable structure such as a house or garage
  3. A tree that is leaning 
  4. A tree with heavy horizontal limbs extending over an important structure
During an on site evaluation, we will perform a comprehensive tree risk assessment to identify hazards and trees that would benefit from cabling. Often crown reduction pruning, deadwood removal, or structural pruning is done in connection with cabling to reduce the forces on a burdened trunk.

The cables used to stabilize trees are made from extra high strength galvanized steel.  Cables do not rust and they have a breaking strength of over 10,000 pounds. Cables that are 5/16th of an inch thick are more than adequate for most applications and are hardly visible in the canopy.