Tree cabling is a support system involving the installation of flexible steel strands to reduce stress on a tree.  When a tree has a structural defect or condition that poses a high risk of property damage or injury a supplemental support system can help reduce risk.  A cable is installed in the upper canopy of a tree by drilling holes slightly bigger than the cable into the tree to insert the cable between two limbs.  The cable is then secured using special tools to keep it tight.

two cabled trees


Cabling can only be done on healthy trees and cannot be used to keep unhealthy and dying trees from falling over.  The installation of cables can reduce the likelihood of a structural failure.  One of the most common structural defects found in trees is codominant stems where 2 or more stems share a single base.  Trees with codominant stems present a higher risk of failure because of the split between the branch unions.  Each trunk competes for canopy space and the limbs and foliage grow away from the center of the trunk resulting in uneven weight distribution.

Leaning trees may also benefit from a cable installation.  Most trees have a slight lean and while a tree’s roots will usually adjust, if a tree is leaning more than usual or the soil around the tree is cracked, the tree may have a serious structural issue that may require cabling.  Trees with cracks, broken or sagging branches, or trees with exaggerated swaying during winds may also benefit from extra support.

The most common cable installation is the simple or direct cable—one cable between two limbs.  Sometimes, a tree will require more than one cable.  If the cable has too much slack or is pulled too tight or is not installed correctly, damage, such as girdling (the complete removal or a strip of bark), can result.  Installing a cable is a tedious process that takes precision and skill and a Certified Arborist will know where and how to properly position the cable.


Cabling can help a healthy tree maintain its long-term health and structural integrity by preventing property damage or personal injury.  Cables can also be used to help restore a tree after it has been damaged by a storm or construction.  When installing a cable, it is important that the cable’s pull is in direct line with the weak point to provide the most amount of structural support.  Once a cable is installed, it reallocates stress among connected branches while still allowing for natural movement and swaying.  While cabling cannot guarantee that a tree will not break or split, it can certainly decrease the risk.

cables attached to some trees standing closely


Maintenance following the installation of cables is minimal, but you should keep an eye out for broken or hanging limbs, slack in the cable, fraying, and animal nests near the cable.  Cable hardware is subject to the elements and the normal movement of branches can also cause wear and tear so the cable system should be inspected annually by a Certified Arborist.


Contact TREES BY JAKE, a Tulsa tree cabling service, to see if your trees can benefit from cabling.  As a Certified Arborist, Jake’s goal is to strengthen weak branches to improve longevity and reduce potential risk.  We uses modern techniques when installing a cable and provide all necessary hardware.  Call or text us today at 918-500-9955 and check us out on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter!

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Tulsa Tree Service

TREES BY JAKE has been providing tree removal services in Tulsa for over a decade. Jake is a Tulsa Certified Arborist and we have a variety of equipment to safely and efficiently remove trees. Call or text us today for your free estimate at 918-500-9955 and don’t forget to check us out on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter!

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