Bracing for Summer Storms

Summer weather brings sunshine and warm days! Then there’s the less favorable conditions such as high winds and lightning. Your landscape needs to brace itself (quite literally) for the impacts from summer storms.

Root damage, limb breakage, uprooting, and splitting are all common side effects from violent storms. Tree cabling and bracing are crucial methods for protecting weak branches and limbs from damage. This acts as supplemental structural support that provides stability in severe weather conditions and reduces the risk of failure. This type of care may be required for particularly old or valuable trees, trees with co-dominant stems, and trees that have sustained damage in the past.


The Lines of Defense:

Cabling – reduces the risk of breaking or splitting by restricting the distance branches or co-dominant leaders can move in relation to the branch union. The cables are typically installed in the upper crown or across weak connection points between two or more tree limbs or trunks. Traditional static cabling systems are made from high-strength, long-lasting steel wire and hardware, and allow for very little movement in the tree. Newer dynamic cabling systems are made from synthetic fabric roping and sling attachments. This type of system allows for more natural movement in the tree. 

Bracing – rods are installed in trees with multiple or co-dominant leaders to reduce the risk of the leaders splitting or to repair splits that have already occurred. The rigid braces are installed directly through the union of the weak branches and stems. Bracing rods are combined with cabling to gain the most stable support. 

Staking – used mostly commonly on newly-planted trees to give them added reinforcement while they establish enough of a root system to stand on their own. Mature trees that have been damaged by weather can periodically start to uproot. Staking them in their correct and upright position can help them re-grow their root systems. 


Of course – early attention is the best prevention.

Structural Pruning – Most of the structural defects that require the installation of supplemental support systems can be treated through proper pruning and maintenance throughout the tree’s life.


Only an expert can properly perform structural pruning and install a cabling, bracing or staking system. If you suspect structural weakness in your tree, it’s best to have a professional assess it. We’ll be able to identify signs of weakness and opportunities for support. Give us a call today for a complimentary consult.

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