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Cable/Cobra Bracing and Propping


Cable/Cobra Bracing and Propping

Occasionally a tree will develop a structural weakness, for example two stems which are growing whilst attached to each other. Sometimes these attachment points or “forks” can be deemed weak with an enhanced risk of failure.

A tree may also grow with weak branch unions or indeed the trees limbs may grow so long and heavy that failure becomes a concern.


In certain situations, we may advise the installation of a supporting system, along with some remedial pruning to help alleviate mechanical stress. Support systems are only used where heavy pruning or tree removal is not an option. Once installed the system is checked and adjusted at intervals as the tree grows and the dynamics change.


Occasionally a valuable tree may develop a lean as a result of sudden exposure to unusually strong winds or root damage. If the tree is unstable (e.g. a partially windblown tree) a firmly founded prop can be inserted to assist in stabilising the tree until its roots can strengthen and regain anchorage.

We use three different methods of support:

  • Cable bracing – Installation of steel cables secured with bolts drilled into the limbs or stem.
  • Cobra bracing – Non-invasive synthetic rope & slings with a load absorbing device.
  • Propping – Various designs bespoke to the situation using wood, metal and/or guy cables & anchors.

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