tree cabling

Ottawa Tree Cabling

Ottawa’s weather can be extreme and unpredictable, occasionally resulting in damage to the trees on your property. If your tree is damaged or weakened but does not need to be removed, cabling and bracing might be the best choice to help your trees recover. Tree bracing and cabling can protect your trees from further damage and also eliminate the risk of injury and damage to your property. In Ottawa, trees often need cabling after:

  • High winds: Trees are often damaged by the force of strong winds, leading to broken branches and trunks
  • Heavy snow: The heavy weight of snow on tree branches can stress trees to the point of breaking
  • Ice build up: Like with snow, ice can build up on your trees branches leading to damage under its weight

Cabling is done by installing flexible steel cables and braces to reduce stress damage to your tree due to high winds, the weight of snow, or ice build ups on your trees. Expert arborists know exactly how to diagnose whether or not a tree needs to be cabled and how to install them. If you have a tree you think might need cabling, call Croft Tree Experts today for a free quote.

Why Get Tree Cabling in Ottawa

Trees are large and can cause significant damage to the area surrounding them. While it’s often easy to spot a dangerous tree, weak limbs aren’t as obvious. Expert arborists know how to find weak areas in your tree and are able to properly reinforce them. The experts at Croft Tree can assess whether your tree is weak and in need of cabling by pinpointing fragile sections of the tree, examining the bark, and identifying other indicators of weakness. Common reasons for cabling and bracing your trees include:

  • Prevention: Cabling is done as a preventative measure to reduce the risk of breakage or failure in a healthy tree with potentially weak unions or crotches
  • Preservation: If a tree is damaged or weak and you want to preserve it , cabling is a great solution
  • Protection: Cables are used to prevent potential injuries and damages to your home – if the tree is in a high traffic area or is leaning over your home

Cabling is done in a very subtle and discrete manner, with the goal of protecting your trees but while also maintaining their aesthetic appeal. If your trees need cabling, contact the pros at Croft Tree Experts today!

Tree service worker in safety equipment adjusting his rope while working on a tree.
trees cabled for additional support

Tree Cabling vs. Tree Bracing

The applications of tree cabling and tree bracing are fundamentally the same – both techniques provide structural support by restricting the movement of branches. However, there are some slight differences between both methods:


  • Commonly used for the upper crown or canopy of a tree
  • Involves the installation of flexible steel cables between major branches
  • Redistributes structural stress among the connected branches


  • Often is reserved for the lower regions (the trunk) of a tree
  • Involves invasive steel rods as supplemental structural support
  • Provides support by securing cracks or splits in a major tree branch junction

In most cases, both tree cabling and tree bracing are used in providing adequate support for a tree. Both of these techniques are highly technical and should be left to professional arborists. Our team is train to assess the structural integrity of a tree and to determine the best solution for your tree. Contact Croft Tree Experts for all of your tree cabling and tree bracing needs!


What is tree cabling?

Tree cabling involved a cable that is installed directly into a limb of a tree, connecting it to another limb in order to provide structural support. The cable should be placed to reduce movement but not restrict it. Cabling should not be used on dying or unhealthy trees to save them.

Does cabling hurt a tree?

Tree cabling is meant to add extra support to a tree and help it grow stronger. That being said, if tree cabling is done improperly, it can actually further injure a tree and increase the risk of it dying. That is why it is important to have a certified arborist who is trained in the best tree cabling practices take care of it for you.

How can I tell if a tree needs cabling?

It can be hard to tell if a tree needs cabling if you don’t know what to look for. It is important to have a certified arborist inspect the tree to see if it could benefit from cabling. If you have a tree that is very old and looking damaged, contact us to take a look and see if cabling is the right solution.

What is tree bracing?

Tree bracing involves the installation of braces on the tree in order to reduce stress damage from harsh weather and winds. Tree bracing is usually done on lower parts of the tree like the trunk, whereas cabling is meant for higher up tree limbs. A professional arborist is able to identify the proper location for a tree brace and whether or not your tree needs the additional support.


Can tree cabling fix a dying tree?

Tree cabling is meant to fixed damaged trees and trees with weak points that are likely to break in extreme weather. These trees are usually still relatively healthy. If a tree is dying, and has lost more than half of its canopy, then the tree is already too far gone and should be removed.

How long do cables need to stay on a tree?

Cables can physically last for up to 50 years, however a tree will outgrow a cabling system in around 10 years. If cabling is still needed, the system will need to be replaced. To determine how long a cabling system needs to be used on a tree, a certified arborist will need to inspect the tree on a yearly basis. Only they can determine whether a tree still needs cables or if they can be removed.

What types of tree cabling are there?

There are two types of tree cabling: static and dynamic.

Static cabling systems are comprised of steel cables and hardware fixed into the tree itself. This type of system offers rigid support for a tree and is better used on trees which are at much higher risk of limbs breaking.

Dynamic cabling systems use composite ropes which are wrapped around tree limbs. It is a non-invasive system since nothing has to be installed directly into the tree. This type of cabling system provides added support to the tree and also allows it to move naturally in the wind.

Additional Ottawa Tree Care Services

Trees marked and ready for removal


School with nice trees




trees fallen on property after storm damage


Croft Tree employee carrying a tree


tree removal experts on job site