Tree Cabling Pros and Cons

Trees add beauty to the landscape and freshen up the air around our homes. Trees, however, can be a source of danger if not properly looked after.

Taking care of your trees includes using cabling or bracing techniques.

Tree cabling is a preventive technique used to support a tree with a weak structure. It involves a certified arborist installing cables or braces onto the limb of the weak tree and connecting it to a stronger limb.

The braces stabilize the central nodes of the tree and prevent it from twisting in violent weather.

To find out if you should cable your tree or not, here is a list of the pros and cons of tree cabling. Read on to discover more information.


  • Lengthens The Lifespan of The Tree

Cabling helps prevent a tree from falling or its major branches from breaking off by offering a support system.

It also enables a tree to manage its weight, preventing cracks, warps, and bark conditions. The support increases the chances of survival for the tree, which leads to its longer and healthier lifespan.

  • Meet legal requirements

In some states, cabling is one way of complying with local rules and regulations. Breaking those legalities come with a hefty fine, and since it is easier to be on the right side of the law, cabling helps avoid issues with the authorities.

  • Keep the trees safe

Trees can be a safety hazard if they have weak tree topologies or get too heavy at the top and lean too much.

They can cause damage or pose a danger to you and the people you care about by falling over or when a thick branch falls off.

A professional arborist comes in handy to install braces on young trees, which hold the structure together and prevent accidents.

  • Maintain the tree’s structure

If you have cabling installed on trees in the right way when you notice a hitch, the act goes a long way in maintaining the tree’s structure.

It shapes the dominant stems and ensures a beautiful full crown that provides shade without being a threat. In addition, it strengthens and lengthens the life of your trees and makes it possible for you to use them for swings and treehouses.

  • An alternative for pruning

It is impossible to prune a tree when it is not the right season for pruning since doing so would compromise the health of your trees. It could also be that the mature tree’s branches are too large for the little space left on the ground.

Tree cabling is the best alternative to pruning since it does not interfere with your television’s coaxial cable.

Secondly, it preserves the health of your trees. Cabling also supports branches of older trees from hanging loosely, hence providing safety for anyone below.


Tree cabling service is not always the best solution for every homeowner. Even if it is a proven useful method, sometimes it might not be an effective way to solve issues concerning your landscape. Here is a list of why it might not be right for you.

  • Expensive to Install

Cabling is a laborious procedure, and the service does not come cheaply. Homeowners who practice tree cabling deal with a high price tag since cabling supplies and expertise aren’t cheap.

Consider other options if you are running on a tight budget. For instance, an old or hollow tree may require moving, in which case the tree stump is dug around, and its root ball is held together with cables for ease of its transfer.

Also, it is easier to strip-cut unstable trees to leave your homestead neat.

It is crucial to consider tree cabling only when it genuinely fits your tree’s specific needs. Contact a professional to know whether or not your case qualifies for the services.  

  • High maintenance

Tree cabling does not end after installation. After the cable service, it is advisable to follow up with the upkeep.

Regular inspections by a professional tree service company are required. Also, your cabled trees require constant monitoring.

Seed trees such as cedar elm, which grow broad, need regular attention to improve the visual presentation around your homestead.

Keeping an eye on your trees once in a while gives you a chance to notice and point out any cabling issues.

Such matters in question include a leaning tree during high winds or unpredicted movement of the supported branches.

  • Additional Costs

When evaluating your maintenance options, you should consider other costs that may arise apart from cabling installation fees.

Some major reasons for spending extra money will be to prevent property damage if the tree cabling equipment doesn’t meet industry standards.

If your cabling experiences setbacks, you need maintenance by a professional since fixing it yourself can cause you injuries.

Handling tree cablings without experience expose the trees you are trying to save. It will help if you let a professional handle the tough work so you can rest easy knowing your trees have a chance at survival.

  • Might Be A Wrong Solution

Different trees have different needs, and it is the same case for their health concerns. Tree cabling can not fix all health issues.

Some trees may do better after cabling, while others may experience more decay.

Your professional arborist may advise that your tree has no chance of survival; therefore, you should not follow through with cabling.

Instead, they may suggest tree removal, preventing rotting in the long run.

Dead and decaying trees steal the beauty of your homestead, can be hazardous, and host pests that may cause harm and damage to your property.

Decaying trees can get diseased and pose health risks to the trees surrounding them.

  • Change of Tree’s Dynamics

Lastly, tree cabling interferes with the natural growth of trees, and this may cause distress to the subject tree and hinder its growth.

When Should A Tree Be Cabled?

You can consider cabling your trees in case of the following events:

  • Tall trees with long and heavy branches: if a tree can’t support its branches and lean toward utility poles or buildings, it endangers and can inconvenience you and the nearby community. Cabling is a good idea in such a case to meet the regulations set by the International Society of Arboriculture.
  • Leaning trees: the size of the tree affects its stability and, if extremely tall, may cause leaning when high winds blow from more than a single direction. The good news is tree cabling may curb the dangers that such a tree pauses to you.

Is Tree Cabling Worth it?

The answer depends on how much attachment residential homeowners have towards the trees.

If a tree holds historical or sentimental value, cabling comes in handy to save it. A tree with monetary value to you is also worth saving.

Consider a thorough inspection if you have tall trees to ensure they are not in direct line with utility poles.

If the cons exceed the tree cabling pros, stump removal is also a good solution. The inspection also ensures your arborist does not interfere with the rest of the network providers and that they observe the ethernet protocol.

Why You Should Install Cables

The three major reasons why trees are cabled include:

  • Prevention of overgrown limbs from falling.
  • Preservation of the value attached to the tree, such as historical.
  • Protection from dangerous trees that are leaning over or falling; cabling is a means to keep it from injuring people or damaging properties.

Cable Installation Process

The simplest and most popular direct cable installation involves one flexible cable being fixed between two limbs.

The arborist assesses the tree to determine the special tools or hardware required for installation,

The climber goes up the tree and finds the area of vulnerability between the branches.

The point chosen is inspected to prove its strength and health to hold up the hardware that supports the cable.

If weight reduction is necessary, minor pruning of a few branches is done.

A slightly wider hole than the cable is then drilled through the stem.

Finally, the right size of support cables is cut and threaded through the holes.

Conclusion: Pros and Cons of Tree Cabling

Tree cabling services keep your trees and plants out of harm’s way. For expert advice, contact the tree cabling professionals near you.

by Brian Moore

Brian is an enthusiastic and experienced gardener, which in time led him to the world of home improvement. He began by learning all about landscaping. Soon he wanted to maximize outdoor spaces in new, exciting ways; for example, by installing gazebos and fire pits. What began as a hobby soon became a side hustle, and eventually, it became his full-time job!