What it is?
Tree cabling is a lesser-known preservation technique, utilized by professional Arborists to provide support to trees that may be prone or at risk of failure. There are a number of different support systems for tree care applications, but tree cabling is the most common and widely used within the tree care industry. Cable systems are either static (steel) or dynamic (rope) systems that are installed in the upper canopy to add support and reduce risk. A professional Arborist evaluation and recommendation is the best way to determine what your tree needs for overall health and longevity.
What it does
A tree support system’s main purpose is to provide additional support or limit movement of a tree or tree part. They do not provide primary support to a tree. Typically, a cable system is used to support weak unions and long heavy limbs. Often times, limbs or trees are cabled to reduce the risk posed to people or property. A tree cable system can be arranged in various configurations to best suit the trees support needs. They act as an extra measure of safety to preserve and maintain trees in our urban environment but not a guarantee of safety.
There are two types of cable systems: static and dynamic. Static systems are composed of steel cable and hardware. Dynamic systems are composed of non-invasive, rope-like materials. Steel (static) systems were traditionally used, before the introduction of dynamic systems. Steel cable is often times used in very failure-prone applications where system longevity and strength are necessary. Dynamic systems also provide great, high strength support and risk reduction in trees. The science behind dynamic systems is to allow for more natural movement in the tree, while providing enough support in the canopy to reduce the risk of failure. Again, an Arborist can best determine what type of system should be used, depending on the trees needs and risk.
Tree cable systems need to be periodically inspected by an Arborist. Scheduling inspections and follow-up maintenance on tree cables is important. Regular maintenance to a tree cabling system will help maintain its effectiveness and durability. Tree cable systems are designed to be a long-term benefit to the tree’s health. The length of time between maintenance should be determined by your arborist, but should not normally be any longer than 5 years.