3 ways rigging can help rescue and revive a damaged tree

November 27, 2014

Is your favourite tree's trunk split in two? Its branches almost breaking off? Here are three ways rigging can help rescue and revive a damaged tree.
Have you spotted cracks in your favorite tree's trunk? Do you fear that falling branches from it may cause damage or injury? It might be possible to fix these issues without chopping the tree down or even cutting off any branches.
So, before you get out your saw, check if your tree can be saved by installing braces or rigging.

What is rigging?

The Bureau de normalisation du Québec defines rigging as the "process of consolidating or strengthening potentially weak parts of a tree by installing either flexible or rigid braces near the treetop or the trunk."

Why install cables?

There are many reasons, the three main ones being:

  1. Rigging avoids having to cut down fragile or damaged trees when the health of the tree is good enough to preclude it from being destroyed.
  2. It serves to strengthen the structure of the tree and to prevent branches from falling and injuring anyone below.
  3. It supports the tree during growth and also contributes to maintaining its natural appearance.

Dynamic tree bracing

This method is considered dynamic because this type of brace adapts to the changes of a growing tree.

  • Different parts of the tree are wrapped and connected to each other with polypropylene cables. Since no holes are drilled into the tree, it is kept safe and protected while securely braced.
  • Braces are closely monitored and adjusted by expanding the cables as the tree grows. The brace continues to exert pressure thus providing strength without damaging it.
  • Dynamic braces can last up to 12 years

Rigid bracing technique

These are metal braces that are attached by using screws or metal rods drilled into the tree.

  • This technique isn’t used as often because, unlike dynamic bracing systems, it can cause long-term damage to the tree.

When would rigging or bracing be used?

Rigging and bracing can be used when the tree isn’t imposing on buildings or other trees, and when pruning or chopping it down isn’t necessary. Hands down, expertrigging is the best way to rescue and revive damaged trees.

Who would you contact to install a brace or rigging?

Professional arborists have the knowledge and equipment required to install braces and rigging systems on trees. They will also be able to assess the overall condition of your tree and let you know if a brace or rigging system is needed.

  • You can find a list of competent arborists by visiting the website of the local International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) branch in your region.
3 ways rigging can help rescue and revive a damaged tree
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