When a tree is about to keel over due to a weakness or damage that compromised its structural integrity, tree cabling can provide sufficient support to prevent tree failure. 

Hence, the team at Croft Tree Experts would like you to know when to consider tree cabling.


What is Tree Cabling?


Tree cabling is a method arborists use to provide trees with weakened or damaged branch structures with the necessary structural support. The process involves installing high-strength cables, usually made of steel, in-between tree branches. This allows for redistributed weight and increased support of limbs at risk of falling.

Bolts are typically inserted into the tree’s trunk to provide an attachment point for the cables. This and the cables’ arrangement prevents the tree limbs from moving, preventing any breaking and falling of branches.

Tree cabling is a technique that only professionally trained arborists should perform. It requires the expertise to analyse a tree’s condition to determine if tree cabling is necessary. Furthermore, installing the bolts and cables needs to be safe and effective. An inexperienced hand could damage the tree further instead.


What are the Types of Tree Cabling?

Tree Cabling types

The three most common types of tree cabling are:


1. Static Cabling

This technique is used on trees with codominant trunks in danger of breaking or trees with multiple stems. The cables are installed in a “Y” or “V” shape to ensure maximum support for the tree.


2. Dynamic Cabling

This type of tree cabling is mostly used for large trees in high-risk areas like near power lines or buildings. It helps hold branches that make significant motions during heavy storms or winds in place. In dynamic cabling, shock absorbers are installed between the cables and bolts. They absorb the impact of heavy movement, allowing the cables and bolts to hold the branches in place.


3. Bracing

This cabling technique is most commonly used on trees with large branches or trunks that could break or split. It is considered a last resort since it also stands a good chance of damaging the tree and isn’t effective in all situations. In tree bracing, steel rods are directly attached to the tree’s trunk to support the weak or damaged areas.


When Should Tree Cabling Be Considered?


When a tree’s physical structure is weakening, this technique can help alleviate the strain. Some of the problems tree cabling solves include:

  • Weak branch structures that are prone to splitting or breaking in heavy winds or storms.
  • Trees with codominant trunks or multiple stems that seem likely to split apart.
  • Large branches and trunks, especially if they are weak or damaged
  • Trees growing in areas considered high-risk like near power lines or buildings
  • Trees with some cultural or historical value that are worth preserving

Tree cabling isn’t a recommended technique for every situation. The tree will have to be assessed by a professional before an official treatment is chosen.


Is Tree Cabling A Good Idea?

Tree Cabling benefits

When needed, tree bolting and cabling provide valuable benefits.

  • It reduces the risk of falling branches or tree failure, thus increasing the safety of the people and property in the vicinity.
  • It also preserves trees that would otherwise be cut down and taken away.
  • Tree cabling is a cost-effective alternative to felling a tree, especially if it has significant cultural or historical value.
  • This technique can also preserve the aesthetic appeal of a tree as it supports its weakened or damaged components.
  • When the tree is secure, property owners will be relieved and less stressed since they know their property is safe.


Croft Tree Experts – Ottawa Arborists Services


Tree cabling is a useful and valuable way of preserving fragile trees. It also helps protect the people and property near the tree. However, only trained arborists should be determining when tree cabling is necessary and carry out the process.

As such, please contact us if you have any trees on your property that are in danger of falling. Croft Tree Experts provides the most trusted arborist services in Ottawa and the Valley. Our proactive tree care allows us to save and preserve trees that are damaged in Ottawa’s climate. Choose us to protect your person, property and state of mind today.