STRUCTURAL DEFICIENCIES IN TREES
There are several reasons why there may be a decline in the health and balance of a tree. A tree is more likely susceptible to health damage, broken limbs, and weak stem when;
1. There are V-shaped crotches: the presence of one or more contaminant stems results in structurally weak stems. Trees with V-crotches hold a higher risk of structural failure than those with U-shape attachments or a single stem. This is because the connective tissue anchoring a stem to the tree trunk and the presence of included bark between the stem is lacking.
2. The Tree is not properly anchored: during transplanting, some trees are planted in shallow soil, some with damaged or decayed root, and some with substandard root ball. Poorly anchored trees result in a structural problem.
3. There are lengthy and overweight limbs: trees like oak or pecans which bear heavy crops are more likely to have broken and falling limbs. Often times, breakage occurs at that spot where the stem and branch meet, and sometimes instead of breakage, a branch may crack as a result of pressure. Heavy loading such as snow, ice, and wind on the branch may lead to structural problems.
BRACING AND CABLING
practically, bracing and cabling are extensively used as structural support for the tree. The technique helps to limit the movement of unhealthy limbs and trunk, granting support to any weak spot on the tree, reducing tension posed by storms and heavy downpour.
Brace system involves placing threaded rods through an existing crack on a tree with an attempt to close up cracks. Braces are threaded rods installed through unions of multiple stems and weak limbs in order to establish rigid support. Brace rods are utilized when there are multiple leaders or codominant.
A hole is drilled right through a tree on existing crackers for its installation, in order to prevent the expansion of cracks or further splits, a rod is bolted to the tree. It provides required support to troubled trees but quite interfering compared to a cabling system. Crown rods are installed much lower, just above and/or below the defect.
Cabling, on the other hand, is more flexible compared to the bracing system. Cabling system permits movement of a tree. Typically, cables are Installed high in the tree in limbs strong enough to support the system. Cables are put in place from the defect to the union at a distance of at least two-third from each other.
There are two categories of cabling; dynamic and static cabling.
● Dynamic Cabling: for flexibility, a synthetic cable or polyester rope is strung between tree branches. The system allows tree movement but prevents it from getting to a point where weak limbs will suffer failure. Synthetic cables give support to the weak union. Installation in the dynamic system leaves a few slacks, allowing tree movement to some extent. To reduce strain on a jeopardized tree when under pressure or tension, a shock absorber is added to the cable.
● Static Cabling: Static cabling uses a steel cable for support. It makes use of two J-lag cabling hooks and clamps. The hooks and clamps are installed in the tree, one on each branch. Installed in such a way that a cable is stung between J-lags with several inches of space between them. Extra cable is left on each end which allows crews to relieve tension on cables as the tree becomes bigger.
Bracing and cabling are both very strong and effective tree support systems commonly used. However, cable has an advantage over rod because of its strength and cable can be installed alone but bracing can complement cables. Inspection is required (every 2-3 years) so as to ensure that the system is intact and also validate its functionality. On average, an adequately installed system has a lifespan of about 10-15 years, and afterward, tree owners can consider re-installation.
BENEFITS OF BRACING AND CABLING
Saving a historical tree is an achievement on its own! Trees are secured from the storm or heavy downpour when structural support is given. Bracing and cabling safe trees in no small way. Trees derive the following benefits from bracing and cabling;
- Provides additional structural support to various parts of a tree
- Reduces stress and tension that adverse weather condition may subject a tree into
- Reduces risk of property damage and possible death to a tree
- Extends trees’ life
- A combination of bracing and cabling give the safest and most stable support to defective tree parts.
- Prevents cracks, fracture, split, and breakage on weak limb or branches.
- Protect trees from adverse weather conditions.
At Leinad tree service we cater to trouble trees. If you observe cracks, storm damage in a tree, leaning, split in a tree trunk, and cavities in tree branches. We will like to inspect your tree and install a support system if need be. Apart from bracing and cabling, we offer other trees structural support; guying and propping. Contact us at Leinad tree service we will like to extend life to that historical and most cherish tree on your property. Don’t allow tree damage to linger for too long! Contact us for a tree structure evaluation today!