Cabling and bracing is a process intended to support weak, damaged, or hazardous limbs by installing cables between two or more branches. Occasionally, storm damaged or dangerous limbs can be shored up and supported instead of resorting to excessive pruning or complete tree removal. The process of cabling and bracing requires ongoing attention, as all hardware should be inspected annually to check for defects and to make any needed adjustments.
It is important to note that a cabling support system is not the same as fixing or healing the tree; only the tree itself can do that. This system is a mechanical support that is meant to help aid the tree with wind stress, storm damage, or weak limbs, and cannot make a dangerous tree completely safe. Once a tree is assessed as a hazard, there will always be a possibility of it failing. While cabling and bracing is one solution that will allow you to keep your tree, you should also consider having the tree removed if necessary.
- Prevention: to reduce the chance of failure on a healthy tree with structural weakness
- Restoration: prolong the existence of a damaged tree
- Mitigation: reduce the hazard potential of a tree