tree care expert standing at bottom of tree looking up

5 Signs Your Trees Might Need Cabling and Bracing

Trees can be a source of beauty, functionality, and even enjoyment on your New England property. But when trees pose any sort of danger, they can become a source of stress.

A tree that has a structural defect or some sort of damage can become a liability. This can be detrimental to peace of mind.

Fortunately, there are often solutions. Tree bracing and cabling can be an effective way to reduce the risk of a limb or tree falling due to a defect. 

With tree cabling, specialized hardware is used to add extra support to the canopy of the tree. These cables will hardly be noticeable when installed properly.

Tree bracing, on the other hand, involves the addition of steel rods to the trunk of the tree or its limbs. This also adds support and helps to reinforce weak spots.

In this article, we will discuss the signs a tree needs cabling and bracing.

It’s important to note that we advise against making a full assessment on your own. This article should provide education so that you can know what to expect. But only a tree care professional can truly tell you what is best for your tree.

Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Signs a Tree Needs Cabling and Bracing

When should you cable a tree? Here are five signs that your tree could benefit from cabling and bracing.

1. Your tree is leaning
2. Your tree is growing in a V-shape
3. The tree has suffered storm damage
4. Your tree has overextended limbs
5. The tree has cracks

Let’s look at each one more closely.

1. Your Tree Is Leaning

Anytime that a tree is leaning, you want to have it evaluated by a pro. Sometimes the way that a tree grows leads to a natural lean. It could even be the way that a tree is “reaching” toward the sun that causes it to lean. 

tree care expert and homeowner inspect tree

But if the lean becomes significant, it could increase the risk of your tree falling, particularly if there is also storm damage to an already-leaning tree. 

Sometimes, a leaning tree can be remedied by tree bracing and cabling. It may depend on how severe the lean is and how anchored the root system remains. Again, it really boils down to a professional evaluation.

2. Your Tree is Growing in a V-Shape

A tree that grows in a way in which it forms a V (with two large “stems” originating from the same trunk) can be at an increased risk of falling (particularly during bad weather, like heavy winds). 

V-shaped trees are notorious for splitting, which is something that you want to be proactive about preventing.

It is generally recommended that trees that are v-shaped use cabling and bracing to gain better support. Tree bracing and cabling will reduce stress on the main trunk of the tree, making it less likely to have one or both stems fall.

3. The Tree has Suffered Storm Damage

When a tree has suffered storm damage, it can be at a greater risk of falling or losing a limb. For instance, perhaps a large limb cracked but did not entirely break. A rod and cable system can help prevent total failure of that limb and allow it to heal.

tree service crew climbing tree

The severity of storm damage will need to be assessed. Sometimes, a tree is beyond repair. For instance, if a limb is hanging, it will be safer to remove it than to try and brace it. A hanging limb is also not going to repair itself over time.

Often, cabling and bracing trees can make them less susceptible to future storm damage as the limb won’t be able to move as much in a storm.

4. Your Tree has Overextended Limbs

When your tree has limbs that overextend horizontally, it can put a lot of stress on the trunk and lead to the tree falling over. Sometimes the limbs themselves may also fall. 

When a tree has overextended limbs, cabling and bracing may be a viable solution. It will provide better support and prevent the limbs from breaking.

5. The Tree has Cracks or Weak Spots

Any tree with weakened sections might be in need of tree bracing and cabling.

A crack or split in the tree’s trunk is definitely a warning sign that the tree is weak in that area. A tree care professional can determine whether the weakened tree can benefit from this service or whether it’s in too bad shape. A weakened tree can be more prone to damage, particularly related to weather like wind, snow, and ice.

tree service crew climber preparing to climb tree

Sometimes the location of the tree has a lot to do with this determination. If a tree is near a structure, like a house, there might be more cause for concern. 

In order to gain true peace of mind from cabling and bracing a weakened tree, you want to make sure that this service is performed properly. We recommend finding a company that employs Certified Arborists, as these are the true tree care experts. 
A Certified Arborist understands the structure and growth pattern of trees. This can make a huge difference when it comes to cabling and bracing trees.

Making the Right Choice for Cabling and Bracing Trees

At the end of the day, you want to make sure that the decision to cable and brace a tree is made by a professional. 

There is a lot of benefit to this service when done proactively. When installed properly, cabling and bracing trees can help preserve trees on your property. However, it’s important that structural defects are recognized early on. 

tree removal crew in lift with chainsaw

If you wait too long, it could be too late to make any difference to your tree’s health and safety. 

While it’s always our goal to preserve trees, in some cases, tree removal could be the best course of action. Cabling and bracing can’t save every tree and if it’s too far along with structural issues or damage, removal might be the safest way to deal with your tree.

These services are all about peace of mind. It’s important to work with a tree care professional who will be honest and transparent about what’s best for your property’s trees.

Choosing Tree Cabling and Bracing Services in Southern NH, ME, and MA

Anytime that you are hiring a tree service, it’s important to put in the research and make a wise choice. After all, services like tree cabling and bracing can be complex and you want to make sure that they are done right. A service like this is meant to deliver peace of mind and you want to make sure that’s exactly what it does.

Ultimately, you want to find a company that has your best interest at heart and that you can build a long-term relationship with. 

Your property requires ongoing care and it’d be great to partner with a company that you truly trust. After all, you’ll want to make sure that they’re keeping an eye on your cabled-and-braced tree so that it continues to be safe.

In fact, over time, cabled-and-braced trees will require adjustments and changes. You’ll also want to make sure that the cabling and bracing hardware is inspected regularly to make sure that it is still functioning as it was meant to.

At Seacoast Tree Care, we’re committed to preserving the health and beauty of trees by performing vital services like tree pruning, tree cabling and bracing, and tree removal, the right way. When you make a wise choice in tree care services, you’ll ultimately take an important step in protecting the value of your property’s trees.

Ready for safer and healthier trees at your Southern NH, ME, or MA home? Request your consultation and get a free quote for tree pruning services. We service properties in and around Stratham, NH, Kittery, ME, and Haverhill, MA. By making a wise choice, you’ll know your trees are in good hands.

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