Certified Arborist Tree Trimming Dallas
As the storms blew into Dallas/Fort Worth this morning, I was reminded of problems created by wind damage in trees and the resulting decay problems that can be created by it.  As always, it is most practical (and economical) to deploy preventative measures first.  If these are not used and trees are damaged, it will be important to repair the damage done to retain the health, aesthetics and value of the tree.  In this post, I'll discuss two methods of prevention.

Prevention of Wind Damage in Trees

In North Texas we have turbulent weather in late Spring and early Fall.  Aside from tornados and hurricanes, much of the tree damage from high winds can be prevented by two methods - bracing and cabling.  These methods have been used for many years to provide "insurance" that the trees will not fall apart.

Bracing - Trees with narrow branch angles or multiple trunks that have grown together have resulting weak structures that can fail in excessive wind.  This weakness can be mitigated by bracing - inserting a large threaded rod (or bolt) through the weak branches of trunks and bolting it together.  Usually a comprehensive bracing setup involves using two or more rods to maximize strength.  Often these can be installed for as little as $100 which is far more economical that the loss of all or part of a tree.

An additional form of bracing involves trees that have a severe lean.  In order to support the tree, it is first pruned to reduce weight stress on the lean side of the tree.  Next, high strength supports are used as a "crutch" to support a portion of the weight of the tree and thus reduce stress on the roots.  These supports can be made of a variety of materials (wood beams, metal pipe, concrete posts, etc.) depending on the weight being supported.

Cabling - Tree branches and trunks can be held together with high-strength hardware connected to steel cable.  This technique uses opposing branches to help the tree hold itself together since there is no additional support from the ground.  Often, trees benefit from multiple cables installed to provide support.  Candidates for cabling include large limbs that reach way out over houses and other structures.  Rather than removing these significant limbs they can be retained indefinitely with a cable system.

Note: Cables should never be wrapped around the outside of a limb or trunk to hold it together.  This will result in long-term damage to the tree's vascular system and will create serious tree health issues.

So before storms damage your trees, ask an ISA certified arborist to assess the risk of wind damage to your trees and discuss appropriate preventative measures for your trees.  Heritage Tree Service of Texas has an arborist on staff to provide this kind of assessment. 

6/21/2012 07:37:30 am

have to say that i don't disagree with what you are saying. what you said about wrapping cables around trunks/stems of trees, http://www.newagearbor.com.au/shop/category77_1.htm this link shows a new system that can be used. Apparently it has been scientifically proven to prolong tree life.

Never used it myself but it looks easy enough to install.

3/9/2017 05:45:44 am

I'm glad you pointed out the dangers that go into Storn damage in tree and give a list of all the different things that go into it.

2/29/2020 07:43:05 am

Gosh I saw someone wrapping cables around a tree once and I ended up talking with the home owner offering my services to him. He couldn't afford them at the time so for the sake of the tree I told him to pay for the equipment and I would provide the labor free of charge. I couldn't bare to see him ruin a poor tree.


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