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In the business of tree services, direct cabling (also known as cable bracing) is often done on valuable or well-liked ornamental trees that have a sharp V-shaped or split crotch in the tree trunk. When properly installed, a direct cabling system can add many years of life to a specimen tree. Direct cabling is the most basic of all tree cabling installations. More complete tree cabling installations are essentially multiples of the single tree cabling unit.
The main purpose of tree bracing, or direct cabling, is to functionally tie the crown of the given tree as a cohesive unit to withstand the heavy stress that can come from wind, ice, and generally, from the overall weight of the tree's limbs and foliage, which can be very significant. In direct cabling, two limbs that are preferably at least 6 inches in diameter are tied or fastened to each other by means of a steel cable (often copper-covered) to provide equivalent support to both branches.
From a maintenance perspective, periodic inspections are indicated in order to take any excessive slack out of sagging or stretched cables. While there are no etched-in-stone rules available on the average life of a tree bracing cable, the U.S. National Park Service indicates that cables should be checked every time work is performed on the tree.
Cabling and bracing are processes that restore or improve the structural integrity of a tree that is worth preserving. The entire tree, or the individual limbs of a tree, may be cabled and braced. Typically, tree cabling fasteners are attached to the weakened limb and the main trunk of the tree; then, using ropes or chains, tension is applied to the weakened limb. Heavy duty cables are then prepared and attached to each fastener to provide the correct amount of support for the weakened limb.
While it sounds like a relatively simple process, it takes a great deal of technical expertise and experience to know how to go about it in a manner that protects the longevity of the living tree and the safety of those around it. Our service personnel are fully trained and experienced in all aspects of cabling and bracing.
Bolts and cables are typically installed in trees to provide extra support for a weak branch union, to provide extra support for a heavy branch over an important object (target) or to limit the movement of branches. When used wisely, cables may extend the life of a tree and reduce its risk of failure. If the tree has already failed, removal may be the only option for the tree.
Brace rods are used to reduce the risk of two or more leaders from spreading further apart or moving sideways and to fasten together a crotch or branch that has split apart.
Cabling systems are used to provide supplemental support for the limbs forming the crotch or limbs being braced. Cables restrict the distance that branches can move in relation to each other. Each cabling, bolting or anchoring installation is to be inspected at least once per year for stability and to ensure that it is still doing the job, or whether the tree should now be removed.
Guying is the installation of a cable between a tree and an external anchor to provide support and reduce tree movement.
Bolts and cables are typically installed in trees to provide extra support for a weak branch union, to provide extra support for a heavy branch over an important object (target) or to limit the movement of branches. When used wisely, cables may extend the life of a tree and reduce its risk of failure. If the tree has already failed, removal may be the only option for the tree. For more information on this or about our Atlanta tree removal services, please call us at 770-218-0068.
Author: John Williams
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