old birch tree

Asked November 19, 2013, 12:47 PM EST

I have an old birch tree with a major limb (almost a secondary trunk) that started to split away from the tree due to a late spring snow 3 years ago. I put a cable around it with a hose against the limb and extended the cable to another solid trunk on the opposite side. It's done fine except that the tree is growing around the hose/cable. I'm thinking about screwing in a cable to both of these major trunks to hold it all together. Is that the best way to handle this situation or to use a wide strap around the trunks? If screwing a bolt and cable into the tree is best, is there a particular type of metal bolt that the tree can best tolerate? thanks. David Frieder

Denver County Colorado trees and shrubs

1 Response

Hi David -

There are very specific standards of how to cable trees. Hose and wire can easily girdle a trunk. If you are planning on doing it yourself, I would strongly advise purchasing these best management practices first: http://www.isa-arbor.com/store/product.aspx?ProductID=135
Or you could hire a Certified Arborist who is experienced in cabling and bracing. You can look up a certified arborist by zip code here: