Cabling and Bracing as an Arborist

colb

Well-Known Member
I'm having a hard time finding the place in the ANSI standard that says that cabling, bracing, and reduction pruning should all be spec'd together. Can someone tell me what's up? I've got a client who wants just bracing and reduction pruning in order to avoid recurring maintenance issues with cabling. I feel like I need a waiver but can't find the standard... Is this my mistaken belief, and what is the basis for doing all three?
 

CanadianStan

Well-Known Member
What's wrong with speccing all 3 together in separate sections on a work proposal?

As for a waiver, no, you don't assume any liability of tree failure / stability by installing a cabling system. You DO however open yourself to future legal pursuit if you fail to install the system correctly. But if you're doing it by the [ANSI] book, then no problem. Specify in your proposal "Install steel cabling system in X tree at Y height to mitigate risk of failure. Cable installation as per manufacturer and ANSI standards."

Feel free to include a blurb such as "XYZ Tree Care does not guarantee or promise stability or safety of this tree. The tree owner inherently owns the tree and all associated risks. Installing a cabling system acknowledges a risk that the tree owner is accepting."
 

Tree_Frog

Active Member
I thought the same until Guy shifted my thoughts. Trying to bid both cabling, bracing, and pruning in one shot is hard to do. Everything requires inspection, what type of cables did you propose static or dynamic? As far as ANSI, I don't recall a rule but Guy is the expert on this. As for wavier to the client, I would write up your specs on what you recommend then what the client chose on the estimate. Hope this helps.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
So, it is a little disconcerting to me that I cannot find a standard for something that I thought was a baseline - that bracing should not be done without cabling and reduction pruning. I feel like we talk about this fairly frequently on the Buzz, but now I'm wondering if I can't read, or if this is not the case.
 

flyingsquirrel25

Well-Known Member
So, it is a little disconcerting to me that I cannot find a standard for something that I thought was a baseline - that bracing should not be done without cabling and reduction pruning. I feel like we talk about this fairly frequently on the Buzz, but now I'm wondering if I can't read, or if this is not the case.
I think many times it’s situational. The linden I posted pictures of got bracing and cables but the owner declined the reduction pruning (psst... it’s still standing). I’ve done bracing in red maples with no cables, but yes on pruning. We did an ash tree with bracing, dynamic cables and no pruning (again owner declined due to budget). And we have done the works on some. I though I have read cables = pruning somewhere but don’t recall where.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
I'm reading a 2013 ANSI A300 supplemental support standard and the bmp. Had it for a few years now. That is current, right?

@flyingsquirrel25 @CanadianStan @Tree_Frog thanks for sharing what's normal in your workflow. Got caught off guard on this one. I've been bundling cabling and pruning with all my bracing jobs.
 

flyingsquirrel25

Well-Known Member
I'm reading a 2013 ANSI A300 supplemental support standard and the bmp. Had it for a few years now. That is current, right?

@flyingsquirrel25 @CanadianStan @Tree_Frog thanks for sharing what's normal in your workflow. Got caught off guard on this one. I've been bundling cabling and pruning with all my bracing jobs.
The most current I have is the third edition (BMP) printed 2014.
As for bundling (you probably already figured it out), we have separate line items in most cases for pruning and cabling. If bracing is involved that’s separate too. Personally I think that’s just my sales strategy, the client may feel like they have more input. It also insures I cover all the bases price wise. I’ve lost my ass before on bracing because I didn’t account for something. It helps me account for everything!
 

guymayor

Well-Known Member
evo you can get it from fll.de. or just google.

colb it is spelled out clearly. And where is the spec problem in bundling?

Cables should be checked "periodically" which could be 5 or 10 years. How is that onerous?
This is often misunderstood, because the BMP used to say both 'periodically' and 'annually'.
the quality of the BMPs has nosedived lately imo--look to the ZTV!
 

JD3000

Most well-known member
I'm having a hard time finding the place in the ANSI standard that says that cabling, bracing, and reduction pruning should all be spec'd together. Can someone tell me what's up? I've got a client who wants just bracing and reduction pruning in order to avoid recurring maintenance issues with cabling. I feel like I need a waiver but can't find the standard... Is this my mistaken belief, and what is the basis for doing all three?
Cuz reduction pruning is only slowly gainig ground...present company excluded of course...
 

flyingsquirrel25

Well-Known Member
Cuz reduction pruning is only slowly gainig ground...present company excluded of course...
Anyone that buys into Gillman or has taken his hands on seminars is already there. Just need some good venues to get him/people teaching it. And teaching it hands on, cuz you know how we learn! Much of our pruning is reduction or crown clean. Thinning and shaping only on ornamentals.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
evo you can get it from fll.de. or just google.

colb it is spelled out clearly. And where is the spec problem in bundling?

Cables should be checked "periodically" which could be 5 or 10 years. How is that onerous?
This is often misunderstood, because the BMP used to say both 'periodically' and 'annually'.
the quality of the BMPs has nosedived lately imo--look to the ZTV!
@guymayor , is it spelled out clearly somewhere that if I install bracing, I should/shall also install cabling? This is my core issue.
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
A case could be made that any tree should be reinspected routinely. No matter if there is pruning, cabling or bracing Not that I'm advocating this at all

Bracing can be thought of as rigid 'cabling'.and cabling as flexible 'bracing'. So, either way there's a requirement for inspection

Be careful of letting your client talk you out of doing what's proper. You'll regret it. Waivers are just wall paper
 

guymayor

Well-Known Member
I've seen 30-year old cables that looked brand new. I told the owners it should have a look in 5-10 years. (tree is not growing much.) But actually the cables can probably last another 30+, with no more arborist involvement.

colb, Thanks for clarifying your ? I agree with Tom's post, except the possible notion that A300-compliant = "proper". There are other, superior standards to look at for guidance.

The ZTV section 3.3.3 on bracing has no requirement to add a cable. The A300 does, one more example of corporate overkill that imo need not be followed, and can be 'waived' in the light of superior guidance.
And yes I would have no problem defending such a decision in court; been there...
 
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colb

Well-Known Member
I wrote out my specification to include ehs cabling and the client accepted it. I made the case that the tree was not going to grow much more vertically (so the cable would not need to be moved upwards), and that a metal cabling system would tend to cause a tree less harm than a dynamic system if it wasn't inspected regularly by the next owner. Thanks for the input guys!
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Nice, will you be using wirestops or wedgegrips?
I've been using Endz. Wedgegrips had a supply shortage when I got into metal cabling and the wirestops (although I have never used them) just didn't do it for me - can't remember why... I use rig guy hubs. The Endz install fine, except my angle grinder melts the ehs strands a tiny bit, which makes it harder to tap in the terminal cone without dulling the teeth.
 

Stephen Moore

Well-Known Member
Here's a few of my thoughts:

1. Canopy reduction, versus canopy thinning. Both will achieve the desired outcome, which is less weight on the limbs, consequently less forces acting at the point of attachment. Canopy reduction reduces the leverage effect, whilst canopy thinning simply reduces that weight along the limbs, and throughout the tree.
I think a balanced, well-executed thinning would have been better for this tree. However, I think both will be pretty close in end result, in terms of force reduction at the point of attachment. I would say it depends more on what the home-owner wants aesthetically in this situation, open canopy (more light, natural tree structure) versus smaller tree.

2. I'm amazed people still bolt trees and drill holes through them to "help" them. I'm a firm believer in non-invasive cabling and bracing strategies.
With that being said: I don't understand why the arborist used both steel cable and textile cabling ... honestly no idea.
Second, you are right in that he did not install his Cobra lines correctly. There should be additional bracing higher up in the canopy. See image below for 2/3 of the tree's height.

3. I'm glad to see that the homeowner wanted to protect / prolong their tree's life. Where I live, if I had submitted 1x $2400 bid to cable, brace and prune it, and 1x $1800 bid to cut it down, you can bet they'd be asking if I can grind the stump too.

Interesting situation to discuss.



What I think can be very helpful in winning these types of bids, is putting down in writing on the written estimate, that you will be adhering to ANSI 300 Supplemental Support Systems specs. (American National Standards Institute). Are you an ISA Certified Arborist? (Just curious why they chose your competitor instead of you)

Also, make sure to include that inspection is necessary every 3-5 years, or however you want to market it. Call the customer back a week later and ask them if they have any questions. Explain everything you will be doing. Tell them why it will cost them $2400, and why they should pay you (you specifically) to do that.

View attachment 36318
He also mounted them on the weak side of the crotch? Hmm
 
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