Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed the holiday season and are making time to appreciate the “calm” after the chaos. Colder weather is upon us and thankfully the snow hasn’t been too much of a burden. So, while you’re catching your breath, I wanted to remind you of the added stress snow and ice can have on your trees and shrubs. In previous blogs, we talked about the importance of dormant pruning. In this blog, I want to focus on cabling and bracing.
The winter season provides the Arborist with a clearer picture of the structure of the tree as a whole, including defects. Below is the base of a crab apple tree with a split trunk.
This is a great example of a structural weakness that is vulnerable to winter damage. With snow and ice load on the trees upper branches, the already compromised base is more likely to split apart, essentially collapsing the tree. While cabling and bracing won't necessarily "save" the tree, it will provide support that will help keep the tree’s limbs and leaders moving together rather than apart.
This crab apple in particular had certain sentimental value to the customer and he wanted to do whatever he could to preserve the tree as long as possible. Given the split, we decided to install a through-rod to support the base as well as a cable in the upper canopy.
A cable was also installed in the upper canopy between the two main leaders. The through-rod and the cable work in tandem to minimize movement within the tree, thereby adding additional support during harsh weather conditions.
The end result is a barely visible support to an important tree in our customer's landscape. It is important to periodically check on the installed hardware to monitor its effectiveness.
Winter is a good time to assess the "bones" of your landscape’s trees and a great opportunity to remedy structural issues if possible. Call ArborTech today to schedule a free assessment of your landscape’s trees & shrubs.