Question: We have a large tree whose limbs look like they could break in an ice storm. Someone told us to cable them. How do we do that?
Answer: You can brace one tree limb against another one on the other side of the tree’s center line by installing a heavy cable between the two. You probably should hire a professional to see that the job is done right. The basics, however, are that you would pull the two limbs slightly together with a “come-along” winch. Pad the limbs so the winch doesn’t damage their bark. Drill completely through the limbs at least 8 or 10 feet up from their juncture with a long bit in exactly the path the cable will be following. Use all-thread eye bolts and cable clamps (not turnbuckles) to secure the cable. Make it taut, then release the pressure on the winch. You may need more than one cable for very large limbs. Securing the tree in this way allows it all to move as a unit when the wind or ice move in.