Problems of Co-Dominant Stems
Trees can develop a number of problems that would not be a big deal in a forest setting, but pose a hazard in the urban environment. One of the most common of these is co-dominant stems. This is when a tree has two stems that are competing with one another for crown space. The problem with this is that it can create a bad connection where the two stems veer off. Bark can become included inside the main crotch as the tree grows in diameter. Ideally it is better to remove one stem while the tree is young as this will create a strong single leader, but if the tree is too old then a cable would be the best option.
The older, more established way of cabling is to drill a hole through the stems being secured, attach a bolt with an eye to it, and then attach a steel cable to connect the various stems together thereby bracing them. Our company utilizes a new and less invasive type of cable to secure stems together. It is called a Synthetic Cable. This cable is made from a synthetic fibre that is secured around the stem (no drilling is required) in a way that, as the tree stem grows in diameter, the cable will open up allowing it to grow. We also install a rubber shock absorber that will permit the stems to move without a shock force. This is better than a steel cable because steel doesn’t allow the stems to move and therefore the tree tends to use it as a crutch. Consequently the tree does not strengthen itself, even to accommodate the ever growing stem. If you are not sure that your tree may need a cable, please feel free to give us a call, and we will be happy to evaluate your tree for this.