What are tree support systems, and what is their significance?

A tree, just like us, can and will run into health problems as it lives. Some problems that can occur are structural, like when we use a knee brace to support a previous injury. Trees too need support systems like this, and our arborists can help prescribe preventative solutions for any trees that may be at higher risk due to the way it grew, or some injuries it has incurred over time.

How do tree support systems work?

Some of these mechanisms are better for one problem, but not the other. However, as much as they can help the tree, these structural aids are not always a 100% fail safe solution. It only helps to reduce the hazard, and sometimes the only way to solve the problem is to remove the tree, but we try to avoid this as much as possible. It is recommended that a visual ground inspection of support systems installed by our team is performed annually.

Dynamic Cabling: Think “Free Range Maple,” this method allows a tree to continue to grow in relation to wind movement and natural environmental influences. We use this system mostly for less risky trees where we know that the tree can solve the problem on its own with a little help from us. It also does not require drilling and does not cause injury to the tree, the trees thank us for this method.

Steel Cable: A little more invasive for the tree, but a lot more strength and stability. When arborists install a steel cable system into a tree canopy, it is minimizing movement or sometimes stopping it all together. This is especially useful when we believe that a defect in the tree is dangerous to the point that if the tree was to brave a windstorm for another countless time, the limb could fail. Since there is drilling and hardware going into the tree with this method, the points of contact for the hardware must be sound and uncompromised wood, to be strong enough to do the job.

Through Bolt Bracing: Very much like pins, similar to when we break big bones in our body, but this will stay until the end of the tree’s life. At points where the tree has separated or cracked we will drill perpendicular to the defect and put large rods through with washers to truly support the entirety of the problem. This is usually a last resort solution when a defect cannot be supported by a cable in the canopy. If at all possible, the bracing will also be given back up from a support cable higher up in the affected limbs.