Tree Cabling and bracing Beach Cities

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What Is Tree Cabling and Bracing?

Tree bracing and cabling is a proactive means of supporting a tree with root or trunk weakness or poor overall structure. Cabling and bracing is commonly used to reduce stress damage caused by high winds and heavy foliage between trimming and maintenance. Beach Tree Service installs steel wires that are flexible enough to be woven through branches or limbs to offer added support and protection for your trees. 

Tree cables are a system that uses extra high strength cables to hold branches in place. This process helps create support systems for weak branches, and guide tree growth in the right direction. Cabling a tree can prevent long-term damage that could create inefficient growth and weak branches.

Our tree care experts can inspect trees to identify any weak points that may need cabling and bracing. Trees with large dominant stems are far more likely to be in need of cabling, bracing, or support. Maintenance following tree cable and brace installation is important to ensure the proper support remains intact. Beach Tree Service will check the hardware periodically to make sure the bracing system is functioning properly. 


High winds and stormy weather don’t typically give any notice, but you can reduce the risks of having damage or unplanned damages and losses with a few proactive steps.

Below are 3 steps to help trees better endure the high winds, storms, and heavy rain.

  1. Proper Tree Pruning
  2. Cabling and Bracing Weak Branches and Limbs
  3. Strengthening Tree Roots

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Whether you are looking for tree removal, maintenance, stump grinding, or any other tree service, contact Beach Tree Service to discuss your project!

What Are Common Structural Deficiencies Of Trees?

In order to avoid the risk of structural failure, urban trees often need a degree of physical support for their roots and crown. Cabling, bracing and other techniques can be used to correct these tree failures. Tree-support systems support the tree by restricting the movement of limbs, trunk, or the entire tree. They can protect people and property that are near the tree by providing additional support to weak areas of it.

Tree Cabling and Bracing Laguna Beach

When Should A Tree Be Cabled Or Braced?

One risk of tree breakage is the presence of one or more dominant stems. Codominant stems that grow horizontally through one another to crisscross, or “v-crotch” generally weaken the structural integrity of a branch. This is due, in part, to the lack of trunk-to-stem anchoring tissues and the presence of bark between stems. When the angle between two adjacent sides of the v-crotch is greater than 180 degrees, there is a higher risk of structural failure. One way to avoid the problems associated with codominant stems is planting trees that have a single leader.

Removing a codominant stem removes the need for additional pruning and/or stemming, allows for a single branching structure. Other methods to bolster a declining tree are by either cabling or bracing the weak area with cables or wrapping in wire.

Another common condition that can cause structural problems is an overextended limb. A condition that can often result in structural problems is the presence of long and/or heavy limbs. These are limbs that grow longer than they should, typically extending in a horizontal or downward direction. The foliage is located on the end of the long branch. Breakage often occurs at the junction where the tree’s branch joins its trunk. In some cases, the branch may bend due to tension and compression forces. These failures usually occur when the branches are subject to heavy loads such as wind, snow or ice.

Given the size of some trees, large cuts to limbs may be avoided by installing cables that help direct wood growth. Corrective pruning is a course of action that can be taken early in order to prevent the overhanging branch from rubbing against other branches.

A third structural problem is weakly anchored trees. Poorly anchored trees are often a result of improper transplanting or insufficient planting. Pruning of the branch, installation of supports, or combined techniques may be recommended.

How Does Tree Cabling and Bracing Work?

Tree care professionals may drill holes into trees by carefully drilling through the branches to create several openings. The cable is then inserted and tightened onto the tree for quick stability. Cables will not affect your tree’s appearance because branches and foliage are large enough to hide the hardware, so it would be difficult to see cables from afar or most of the time, even up close.

The goal is to ensure that the brace rods are not able to move around. In some cases, brace rods may be used to repair or support a broken v-crotch or other branches because they provide such stable support. Brace rods may be dead-end or threaded or they may have a through rod configuration. In either case, the brace rod may require additional support from cables depending upon the size and health of the tree, as well as the expected weather conditions the tree will need to endure.

The bottom line is the cables restrict the distance a limb can move from its original position and therefore, are meant to prevent the limb from experiencing enough stress to break. Cables are generally installed across identified weak points in branches to reduce the risk of breakage. Cables are also installed on overextended branches to support the branch from too much stress that may cause it to become damaged and ultimately break. More than one cable is typically necessary for the installation and may be used in combination with a brace rod depending on the situation. Cable systems include anchors, cables, and the appropriate termination hardware for connection to the anchor. Cable anchors are installed in a tree at 2/3 of its distance from the weak crotch towards each end of a branch to provide the most support and safety.

What Is Tree Staking?

Tree stakes are often used to hold a newly planted tree upright in the soil and the root ball firmly in place until the root system is established and strong enough to hold it in place. Staking can also be used to straighten the trunk of a young tree or protect the lower trunk from injury due to the stress of the curvature. Generally, staking is discouraged by tree professionals because most trees with adequate root systems should not need to be staked at planting and should develop their own resilience as they grow.

Trees that are staked for support can require constant monitoring and maintenance to ensure the system is working properly and not causing damage to the tree. Only those trees that are planted on steep slopes and in loose soil or that have top-heavy, large crowns may require staking to keep the tree upright. Any time stakes are installed, they should be regularly inspected and adjusted to prevent damage to the staked tree and to keep the staking safe for structures and other personal property that could be damaged in case of a falling tree. Stakes are put in place generally within a year of planting under most circumstances. Larger trees may require two or more years to establish a root system sufficient to support the tree so that in no longer requires staking. Although staking can be useful in some situations, it can have several detrimental consequences for a tree. One negative effect for trees are that it may develop less trunk taper or reverse taper. Another is the increased potential for rubbing and grinding injury from the stakes and ties and the main issue is the reduced ability to stand on its own when the stakes are removed.

Tree Cabling and Bracing Corona Del Mar

A ground-anchored protective staking system can reduce damage to trees that may be caused by accidental collisions from mowing equipment or vehicles that may be passing close by. At times, a metal or wooden frame may be put in place to protect the tree in high-traffic areas. Although trees can be staked aboveground or belowground, aboveground staking is recommended to be installed as low on the tree trunk as possible. This is so that the treetop is able to move in the wind naturally so that it will develop taper while at the same time limiting the movement of the rootball in the soil to keep it in place.

Tree professionals may use one to several stakes depending on the tree size, the planting location, and the type of soil involved. Another method of securing the rootball belowground is to drive metal or wooden stakes along the sides of the rootball. This can properly secure the rootball and eliminate the need for aboveground staking and the maintenance required, though this system will only work in specific circumstances.

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Where we work

We are happy to work on Tree Service projects in the Orange County Beach Cities!
Call us today for a quote or bid if you are located in any of the following service areas:
  • Newport Beach, California
  • Laguna Beach, California
  • Dana Point, California
  • Huntington Beach, California