Tree support systems entail the use of various hardware or specialized materials to add support to weak areas of a tree’s structure. They are always customized to the tree and vary depending on structure and defect.  Support systems do not eliminate risk. A well-configured, working support system will reduce risk, prevent defects from worsening, or add support while allowing the tree to continue building its own supporting wood fibers.


Some methods used in support systems are cabling, bracing, and propping. We commonly use Cobra Cable in our support systems.




A tree may require additional support if there is a risk that a portion of the canopy will fail. There are many signs of potential failure that our arborist’s trained eye can spot, some appear very slight, and knowledge of tree biology is required.

If a tree has cracked and split but hasn’t failed yet, a support system may prevent the defect from worsening.  While cabling and bracing are used as a remedy in such cases, it is more beneficial to install systems preventatively. In a preventative application, the cable or brace is adding support to the strength that the tree already has.

Trilogy Tree Services Ltd. has ISA Qualified Risk Assessors on the team. They are proficient in identifying defects or potential defects. An Assessor can design and install any system that will add support, and reduce risk to your property.




Although the principles of cabling have remained the same for one hundred years, technology has evolved to provide non-invasive, dynamic systems that support limbs and tree canopies. This product is known as Cobra Cable.

Cobra cable is a rope-like material that has excellent shock-absorbing properties. It is made up of UV-protected materials and provides restraint characteristics that mimic the tree’s natural reaction to wind. In a gust, tree limbs usually collapse upward and then out in an exaggerated manner. Cobra cable allows enough movement to encourage self-supporting growth in light wind but is there to halt excessive flailing that might cause failure at the union.

Cobra cable can be used preventatively if it is installed prior to a split. It can be installed in co-dominant trees or limbs with potentially weak unions to provide support while encouraging ongoing strong, healthy growth.




Bracing is a technique our arborists use when a union is already split. Depending on the size of the tree and the split, two or more rods are installed at or above the union. In some cases, the tree can actually be pulled together to close the split! Cables are also installed in the canopy to support the bracing rods at the supported union.

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