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OT-Maybe_ tensioning a cable

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  • OT-Maybe_ tensioning a cable

    I have a maple tree that has several trunks that extend from a single base trunk. The way the tree is situated, one of the trunks lean toward our house. I want to cable all of the "trunks" together, so if a t-storm should create enough turbulence I don't want the close section splitting off toward the house.

    I want to cable the whole thing together, wrap a cable around all the trunks, so if one goes, they all go. To my fortune, the biggest/heaviest leans away from the house.

    So if I loop a cable in the order of a 3/8" around them all, how can I grab the cable al pull slack out of it before cable clamping it together? With fencing wire, I simply grab the wire with vise grips, and I have one that I welded a section of steel pipe on the nut, and use a come-along to pull tension before nailing it off. But grabbing a stranded cable with vise-grips would smash it and maybe loose some integrity.

    I could put a loop in each end and use a turnbuckle, and hope I can get enough slack out before the turnbuckle runs out of thread. Just lapping each over each other and pulling slack with a come-along seems easier. But how would I grab the cable?

  • #2
    I'm no arborist but I've seen what happens when something like a cable or hard wire is tensioned against a growing tree. Over the course of surprisingly few years the cable cuts in and the tree grows around it. And good luck with making any adjustments after that happens. If you go with this route it will require some significant pressure spreading pads that can only curve in the one direction. Something like bands of heavy conveyor belting.

    What about simply pruning the tree so the major side trunk threatening the house is removed? And at the same time cut back the outer growth of the other trunks/limbs so when the tree recovers and grows back in from the prune it is still reasonably shapely.

    Chilliwack BC, Canada

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    • #3
      No papers as an arborist, but have been trimming trees a long time. BC is correct, the cable will be huried in a short time, maybe as soon as a year or two, depending on growth ring thickness and cable size.

      You want padding, PLUS a piece of steel to spread the force. Even then it probably will be grown around in time, depending on where the tree is in its lifetime.

      As for trimming, with a split tree, or a tree having multiple trunks, cutting one back may have "interesting" results. The tree will be unbalanced, possibly vulnerable to uprooting f the wind is in the direction to push over the heavy or larger side.

      I like the even trimming idea. Problem is, it sounds as if that would almost have to amount to "topping", which damages the tree, makes it more dangerous later, and looks ugly for quite a while. I hate "topping" with a passion.

      Trees in bad places do sometimes need to be cut down. No idea here. Maybe a couple pics from angles showing the situation?
      2730

      Keep eye on ball.
      Hashim Khan

      Everything not impossible is compulsory

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      • #4
        Use a 2" wide cargo strap that has it's own ratchet built in.

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        • #5
          A wire around the trunk will "girdle" it. Until the tree grows around it, the cable will be cutting off the circulation where it is against the trunk. Bad!

          What you really want/need to do is have bolts to attach the cables to. Through bolts if the trunks aren't too big, even then all-thread would be better than lag bolts. Lag bolts would be hard to size, for gripping strength. I'm sure that Google will tell you all you need to know about "cabling trees", YouTube, too.

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          • #6
            Used eye bolts that go thru the limbs with a large washer on the back side then the nut. Then, cable the eyelets together. DO NOT put cable around the limbs! The tree will choke it self as the limbs grow larger in diameter.

            Maples are notorious for included bark and they split where they have multi stems. A Silver Maple is the number 2 hazard tree that falls and kills people.
            Last edited by Tungsten dipper; 06-21-2021, 09:29 PM.

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            • #7
              That growing around a wire thing is a lot worse than even what has been said above. I had a tree in my front lawn that died and had to be removed. When the tree crew tried to cut the stump down to ground level, they struck concrete. Tore up two or three chain saw chains. The concrete looks like a fence post. It seems to be vertical and has reinforcement steel inside it. It is about four inches round or square. And it was completely INSIDE that tree for the past 20 years or more. No external clue that it was there.

              Trees will grow around almost anything.
              Paul A.
              SE Texas

              And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
              You will find that it has discrete steps.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by deltap View Post
                Use a 2" wide cargo strap that has it's own ratchet built in.
                That came to my mind as well.

                -D
                DZER

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by deltap View Post
                  Use a 2" wide cargo strap that has it's own ratchet built in.
                  A season in the sun, and that cargo strap will be as useful as crepe paper ribbons.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Cabling directly is bad. If you pad the cable and keep it from growing in (move it before the tree grows around it) it generally does nothing too bad. It does not have to be a problem, but a plain piece of cable, providing support full time, will be. With some padding, and something to spread the force out, lessissue.

                    It makes a difference how much force is on it, also. if it is really holding up the trunk, that's one thing and you may have to bolt. If it is a "worry" issue, where it is really to take up wind forces, without doing actual full time major support, as it seems here, then it is fine to cable with a loop, and probably a lot less damaging (if you pad it). Smaller trees are cabled to keep them upright all the time, with loops. Padding is always used to keep from rubbing the bark.. The OP was talking about "getting the slack out" of the cable, not about winching up the trunk.

                    I have seen bolting done that worked fine. And I have seen bolting done that rotted the tree. Or that ended up causing a split in the tree trunk, depending on size. It makes a defect in the bark, where insects, weather, etc get in. And, the tree grows around the bolt eventually also.

                    A couple pics would make it clear what he is talking about in terms of tree.
                    2730

                    Keep eye on ball.
                    Hashim Khan

                    Everything not impossible is compulsory

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Click image for larger version  Name:	ADE3C451-0641-4A98-BD25-24FD6D65846D.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	2.99 MB ID:	1948031 Click image for larger version  Name:	493288CC-10AA-4EB7-AC4A-851A65D0038E.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	3.31 MB ID:	1948032 I would advise against it, from first hand experience on my parents house. They had a very large old pin oak with 3 trunks coming out of the base of the tree. My father, a former lineman, decided to cable the trunks together. My older brother and I did the work. Pop bartered for a strand of 3/8” guy wire and some cable clamps. My brother and I went up ladders with the cable, come along, cable clamps and grip and made 3 lashes around the trunks about 20 feet up. Pop said the tree would out last him. In fact it outlasted him and my mom. After mom died I had the house 6 Click image for larger version  Name:	549D31A0-3CE8-4F9C-9B47-84A3A1C976D7.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	3.60 MB ID:	1948029 Click image for larger version  Name:	A6319739-A3DD-4336-AB2B-E346135EB721.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	1.26 MB ID:	1948030 under contract when I got a call from their neighbor saying the tree fell on the house. I got there and the tree fell on the house from back to front putting a 15’ wide hole in the roof the width of the house. Long story short it did $130K damage. The contract price was $160K. Insurance paid to repair it plus the $8K to have the tree removed. The original buyers waited for the repairs th be completed so it turned out good but it was a major PITA.
                      If it wasn’t lashed together one trunk would have probably hit the house, the other two would have fallen away from it as it was being lashed together concealed defects in the tree and when it decided to go it all went on the house.
                      (sorry for the choppy post but my iPad didn’t like uploading pics)
                      Last edited by Beazld; 06-21-2021, 11:08 PM.
                      Sole proprietor of Acme Buggy Whips Ltd.
                      Specialty products for beating dead horses.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tungsten dipper View Post
                        Used eye bolts that go thru the limbs with a large washer on the back side then the nut. Then, cable the eyelets together. DO NOT put cable around the limbs! The tree will choke it self as the limbs grow larger in diameter.

                        Maples are notorious for included bark and they split where they have multi stems. A Silver Maple is the number 2 hazard tree that falls and kills people.
                        Exactly what I was going to suggest. Bob Engelhardt and Tungsten Dipper nailed it. Don't cable around the limbs! Use eyebolts or run the cable straight through a hole with a wire stop on the other side. That's how professional arborists handle cabling trees. Google "Rigguy Wire Stops". E.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7l6gCLevN8

                        Also, and this is IMPORTANT, the cabling should not be done just around the trunks. There is a lot of weight up in the canopy and if the center of gravity is above the point where you've cable it together, the cabling won't do much. One of the trunks may well break and just topple "up and out" of the ring made by the cable. Usually, arborists cable in the canopy after doing a careful assessment of the overall health of the tree (to make sure they're cabling to structurally sound brances).

                        As far as gripping the cable goes, they make special tensioners (video above shows one) that clamp cables without damaging, but depending on what kind of wire rope you have, you might be able to get enough bite on the cable by tying a much smaller diameter cable or leather cord around it using a Prussik or Kleimheist knot. You don't want tons of tension on the cable so even something like real leather shoelaces might work... don't really know though. Never tried it myself.

                        Edit: I'm not the only one who thinks a Prussik might work. There's a thread here about different types of cord and hitches that grip on 3/8 steel cable: https://www.treebuzz.com/forum/threa...le.6351/page-2
                        Last edited by Fasttrack; 06-21-2021, 11:16 PM.

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                        • #13
                          I DID suggest that cutting it was an option... sometimes it is needed.
                          2730

                          Keep eye on ball.
                          Hashim Khan

                          Everything not impossible is compulsory

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CalM View Post

                            A season in the sun, and that cargo strap will be as useful as crepe paper ribbons.
                            I have used 2" straps that were left 10 years out in the weather
                            and were faded and a little stiff, but strong enough to secure a
                            load that I had. Certainly not as strong as new, but you are
                            exaggerating the facts and being hyperbolic. Is this your form
                            of humor or are you trying to help ?

                            -D
                            DZER

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                            • #15
                              Ok, 2" wide cargo straps and a ratchet to pull the trees into a position where you're happy with them, and then use steel cable. Normal cable clamps will be fine, then remove the cargo strap.

                              Ian
                              All of the gear, no idea...

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