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4.6 Stars Google Reviews
4.6 (5,198 reviews)
5 Stars Review Rating
The advice was carefully explained. No pressure. Several options given to save money or have them do the work. The arborist who came out was on time and had a wealth of knowledge.
Joseph D. Joseph D.
5 Stars Review Rating
They are the most courteous company I’ve dealt with. Very reliable. They always know how to properly treat the problem first time round.
Barbara S. Barbara S.
5 Stars Review Rating
The arborist was exceptional. She was not only professional, but explained in great detail what needed to be done, in a simple direct manner.
Nellie S. Nellie S.
5 Stars Review Rating
SavATree have been managing the health and appearance of my trees for longer than I can remember. Very easy to work with. I rely completely on their advice and recommendations.
Cecelia C. Cecelia C.
5 Stars Review Rating
Removed a diseased tree which was approximately 100 feet tall. Cleaned up beautifully. All plants surrounding were left in excellent condition. Nothing was damaged.
Robin A. Robin A.
5 Stars Review Rating
The arborists, tree and turf teams are always knowledgeable, professional and punctual. The quality of service is second to none.
Scott M. Scott M.
5 Stars Review Rating
No fuss, no mess. I should have had this done years ago. SavATree is an excellent example of how things should be done. Exceeded expectations in every way.
Jeff G. Jeff G.
5 Stars Review Rating
We had significant storm damage to our 75yo locust tree this summer. SavATree expertly triaged and re-shaped. It's filling back in nicely and looks very healthy. They are artists!
Phil G. Phil G.
5 Stars Review Rating
Our entire HOA uses SavATree for lawn fertilization. After only one season, they have our lawns looking great.They listen closely to customer needs and are very responsive.
Ron L. Ron L.
bracing a tree

Tree Cabling, Bracing, and Staking: Using Structural Support Systems to Remedy Unstable Trees

When trees are not properly pruned or trained when young, they can grow in ways that threaten their health and the safety of the people, pets, and buildings around them. Mature trees with two or more trunks are particularly susceptible to this condition (referred to by arborists as having multiple leaders or co-dominant leaders or stems.) So, too, are open-canopied trees with limbs that grow horizontally or downward. Newly-planted trees can sometimes be weak-trunked or unstable, caused by close planting in the nursery, inadequate root balls, root damage, or planting in too-shallow holes or compacted soils.

Tree support systems — cabling, bracing, and staking — can be appropriate remedies for trees with structural deficiencies and instability. When installed and maintained correctly by qualified arborists, these support systems can:

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    Reduce the likelihood of failure of a weak or previously damaged trunk or limb, or a tree with co-dominant leaders — especially during severe weather;
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    Extend the life of an old or valuable tree;
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    Provide added stability to newly-transplanted trees while they build supportive root systems.

SavATree’s highly qualified arborists will inspect your trees to diagnose any structural deficiencies that present risk to the trees and surrounding property. They will then advise you if a supplemental support system is appropriate to remedy a structural problem, and if so, recommend the best type of system for the tree.

 Would Your Trees Benefit from Supplemental Support Systems?


Professional arborists make decisions very carefully about whether to install tree support devices like cables, braces, and stakes. These mechanisms support the tree by limiting the movement of branches or leaders (the main vertical stems) or providing extra support to weak areas of the tree. However, this support hardware is also intrusive and restrictive for the tree. So in determining the best course of action for an ailing tree, our arborists weigh the risks and rewards. They also assess whether the condition of a tree is so poor that it is beyond the point where a support system would help, and the tree should be removed.

Only a qualified arborist should install tree support systems. They have the training and experience to determine the best support method, select the right materials, and install the system using the most effective and least damaging techniques. Just as importantly, your arborist can inspect, adjust, and maintain the system regularly to maximize the benefit to your tree and reduce the risk of injury to humans and property. SavATree follows the Tree Care Industry Association’s ANSI A300 standards for the installation and maintenance of supplemental support systems.

Types of Tree Support Systems

Cabling and bracing are the most commonly-used tools to protect or improve a tree’s structural integrity. Staking methods are used less frequently, but are sometimes needed to support a newly-planted tree while it establishes a supportive root system.


Cabling reduces the risk of breaking or splitting by restricting the distance branches or co-dominant leaders can move in relation to the rest of the tree. The cables are typically installed in the upper crown or across a weak crotch (the bottom point of connection 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; the “give” in the dynamic cabling allows for more natural movement in the tree. Your SavATree arborist can determine which type of system is best suited to your tree and property.



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 — either as a “through-rod” (where the rod is inserted through the trunk or branch and bolted with a nut on either side) or a “dead-end” brace (where the rod is threaded directly into the tree trunk or branch). Bracing rods are combined with cabling to gain the most stable support.



Staking is a support method used to hold a tree upright and the root ball in place, or to straighten the trunk. Staking can involve tying rigid stakes to a young tree’s trunk, or affixing three or four wires or straps (known as guys) to the tree and then anchoring the guys to the ground with stakes or other hardware.

Staking can be useful in certain circumstances. It is most typically used on a newly-planted tree to give added reinforcement while it establishes enough of a root system to stand on its own. Perhaps the tree has a small root system that cannot support the expanse of branches and leaves above it. Or maybe the tree is planted in a very windy spot that puts it in danger of being uprooted. Sometimes even more mature trees that are damaged by weather events can periodically start to uproot, and staking them in their correct and upright position can help them re-grow their root systems.

As with any supplement support system, our arborists employ staking only when necessary, and for the shortest time possible. The chance of injury to the tree increases with the length of time the strapping devices are attached to it. And when staking the at-risk tree, arborists ensure the application allows for some degree of movement. Why? When a tree is allowed to sway in the wind, that swaying movement triggers the growth of important structural fibers at the base of the trunk.

Early Attention is the Best Prevention: Avoid the Need for Supplemental Support Systems!


Most of the structural defects that require the installation of supplemental support systems could have been prevented through proper pruning and maintenance throughout the tree’s life. If you get a SavATree arborist in to care for your tree every two years after it’s been planted, it will likely never develop structural defects! [Learn about our Tree Trimming and Pruning services and other Tree Care services.]

Have questions or need to set up a complimentary consult now? Get in touch.