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Kalamazoo County, MI Tree Care
Home  > Local Tree Care Services  > Michigan, MI  > Kalamazoo-County-MI


Multi-trunked trees add interest to South Gull Lake, Michigan  landscapes, but large multi-trunked trees can also be structurally weak trees. Structural weakness in large trees can result in seriously damaged trees or fallen trees after a storm, tornado, ice storm, or high winds pass through the area. Oftentimes, structural weakness in a large tree is the result of “included” tree bark that grows between V-shaped trunk unions. If the large tree happens to be growing near a building, driveway, or sidewalk a hazardous situation could develop during stormy weather. The solution most arborists in South Gull Lake use to save and preserve multi-trunked trees is called cabling & bracing.

It may not be necessary to remove every large tree that is structurally weak. If the large, multi-trunked tree has sound wood it may be possible for an arborist to cable or brace the tree to give added support the weak tree trunks. Arborists in South Gull Lake use various techniques to support weak tree trunks. The techniques vary depending on the number and size of the tree trunks, the tree species, how much included bark is involved, the health of the tree, and if any trunk decay is already present in any of the tree trunks.

The most common method of cabling or bracing trees is to use an extra high strength cable to attach one or more large tree trunks together. The arborist accomplishes this by using many of the same attachment gear that is used to hold up power poles. Lags or threaded bolts are screwed into holes that the arborist drills into the large tree trunks. This method causes less damage to the tree than wrapping the cable around the tree trunk. The arrangement of the tree cabling in the canopy of the tree depends on the number and form of the tree to be supported. Each tree is unique and the arborist must consider several factors when deciding where to install tree cabling. Once the tree cabling is completed the individual tree trunks support each other, move more in unison, and are less likely to split apart in storms.

Arborists in South Gull Lake don’t use tree cabling just to support multi-trunked trees. Some trees will develop large branches that would benefit from extra support. In cases such as this, the arborist can install tree cabling from the central trunk of the tree out to the large tree branch or branches. This gives added support to the large tree branch so it is less likely to split off the main trunk. The arborist may also recommend reducing the weight of large branches with selective pruning.

The useful life of large trees with split branches or trunks can sometimes be increased with tree cabling & bracing. If the split in the tree isn’t too severe the arborist can install support rods and tree cables to hold the split tree together. When this type of tree work is done the arborist should periodically inspect the tree to make sure the split in the tree isn’t getting worse or determine if the tree cabling or bracing supports should be adjusted.

Every tree is not a candidate for tree cabling & bracing and having cabling or bracing installed doesn’t guarantee storm damage won’t occur, but in many cases this procedure will extend the useful life of large landscape trees. If you think you have a tree that would benefit from tree cabling or bracing most arborists and tree services in South Gull Lake offer free tree inspections. This type of preventative tree care may end up preserving the larger trees on your property.

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