Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cabling and Bracing

Trees are naturally strong, organic, growing structures. The ability of trees to withstand the environmental forces placed on them is a wonder of natural engineering unique to the world of trees. Trees, the largest of plants, have developed over time unique abilities to reach high above the ground to harvest the sunlight and oxygen from our atmosphere. Trees are capable of supporting themselves under most circumstances. However, occasionally nature interferes or abnormalities develop. When this happens, a tree will need supplemental support to help keep it beautiful and upright.

Cabling is a method of installing, high in the tree, steel or synthetic support cables. These systems reduce loads on the branch and stem unions of the tree that may be weak or split. Installed properly, the cables are unobtrusive, long lasting and effective in adding years or decades to the stability of your trees. Cabling can come in many shapes and forms, depending on each situation. It is important to match a specific system to the tree and its structure. Some trees require only one cable, others may need several.
Steel is a common material for cabling systems. High strength steel systems are rigid and restrict movement. They reinforce/replace the tree’s branch union, but at a much higher point than the tree can or would be able to grow naturally.

Cabling1A complex steel spoke and hub system

Cabling2Synthetic cabling system

More flexible synthetic systems are also available and offer options. Synthetic systems can be less invasive and allow the tree to form reactive wood and help strengthen itself. They limit the range of movement, but cannot pull broken/split pieces back together. Both steel and synthetic systems have a place. However, they must be used properly with the ultimate goal being tree health and structural stability. Cabling systems are sometimes all that is needed. If more support is needed the next step is taken, bracing.

Bracing is the process of inserting rods or bolts through the trunk of the tree to help form a foundation of support. These rods Brackingare always used in conjunction with a cabling system high above. Bracing rods provide additional support to cracked, split or unjoined branch and stem unions. The rods immediately help “hold” things together. As the tree grows around them, they become even more supportive. In very few cases with very small trees, rods may be used alone, but this is rare. Bracing rods are by their very nature invasive as they require a hole to be drilled through the tree. The stems being supported must also retain enough strength to handle the force applied at the ends of the rods where washers and nuts are placed.

When to say when
Not all trees are good candidates for a cabling or bracing system. Poor candidates include trees with compromised root systems or trees with major defects in the static relevant zone. (This is the section of a tree encompassing an area three feet out from the buttress roots of the tree into the root system and vertically all the way to the first major branches.) In these situations, a cabling and bracing system may place excessive force on the stems and root system of the tree, causing the whole tree to fall.  Some trees, due to rot or decay, may not have the structural ability to hold the necessary anchors in place. The cabling or bracing system may be installed, but be ineffective since the anchor points it relies on are weaker than the system or the natural forces applied. However, more often than not a cabling and/or bracing system can be safely and effectively installed. In cases of minor cracks and splits or genetic abnormalities, these techniques can add decades to a tree’s productive life. In the case of historic or exceptional trees, cabling and bracing systems can mitigate hazards and increase health, by limiting breakage in the canopy.

The installation of cabling and bracing systems is invasive. However, it is often worth the effort to help mitigate risk and/or hazard, as well as prolong the stability of feature trees. It should never be considered a cure. These systems are hazard and breakage mitigators.  The best system our human minds can conceive and install can be destroyed in a moment by an exceptional environmental occurrence!  Cabling and bracing systems can and do help under normal circumstances. Trees can be preserved and their beauty enjoyed for generations to come with proper installation, inspection and maintenance. Like the trees the trees they protect, these systems do not last forever. Care and diligence are required to keep cabling and bracing systems in tip-top shape.

Over Pruning, Lion’s Tailing

I’ve noticed an epidemic in several of the neighborhoods in Fort Worth, usually south of I-20. It’s called lion’s-tailing, stripping or just plain over pruning. It consists of removing all the interior growth all the way to the very end of the limb or branch. This leaves a “poof” of foliage resembling a lion’s tail. The stripped out interior may look nice to some people, but has very detrimental effects on the tree!  In and of itself, lion’s-tailing will not kill trees.  However, excessive pruning stresses the tree’s systems.  It causes an interruption in photosynthesis and depletion in stored starches and sugars.  Trees need these stores to survive other natural stresses such as drought or insect damage.  Often the water bonds that trees rely on to move water through the trunk and branches are interrupted with lion’s-tailing.  Structural issues can result from uneven foliage distribution.  Too much sunlight can penetrate the canopy, scorching sensitive bark and cause sun scalding thus creating strength loss.  Limbs may also grow longer, but not necessarily stronger, leading to future failures and unbalanced canopies. Improper pruning practices such as lion’s-tailing are one of the most common causes of tree decline, but are also the most easy to prevent.  Make sure your trees are pruned to industry standards and accept no excuses or explanations from those ignorant of or unwilling to work to these standards.  Together we can keep trees healthy and strong!

4 Benefits of Pruning Your Trees

You have probably heard that pruning is beneficial to your trees, but do you know why? There are several reasons why proper pruning really does help your trees grow strong and healthy. Here are four reasons why you should consider having your trees pruned:

It Makes Them Healthier

When you prune away dying or infested branches, it prevents the insects or other organisms that were harming those branches from infecting the rest of the tree. That can save the tree’s life, and save you money on a replacement.

It Can Stimulate or Suppress Growth

You can prune trees in such a way that either promotes new growth or suppresses unwanted growth. Get rid of any parts that are overgrown by pruning them aggressively, and promote new growth by pruning more sparsely.

It Makes Them Safer

Pruning can keep low-hanging branches from becoming too large and hazardous. On smaller trees, it can keep the foliage from blocking a sidewalk or growing in a way that rubs and damages other foliage.

The best solution is to have a professional come out and prune your trees. If you have questions or need tree service, give us a call today!


Diagnosing Tree Disease

tree with diseaseWhen we think of diagnosing disease, we typically imagine a medical professional working with a human patient or even an animal. But all living organisms can contract disease, including trees! The path for treating tree diseases won’t follow our usual ideas for treatment, but rehabilitation and even ‘medicines’ are involved in the healing process to restore a tree to as good as new. To help you understand the process of diagnosing tree disease, we briefly walk through the basics here.

Trees can contract diseases from several different sources. Insects are often beneficial for plants, but they can become a danger when they bore their way into trees, suck away its nutrients, or chew their way through its substance. Treating disease from insects usually involves eradicating the infestation and restoring the tree to its former health with vitamins or special injections.

Infectious and non-infectious diseases can also plague trees. Infectious diseases are contacted from fungi and bacteria, while non-infectious diseases stem from environmental factors such as temperature variations and nutrient deficiency.

Professional Tree Care

Before you decide to simply chop down an ailing tree and eliminate this natural resource, let our experts provide you with a diagnosis and a treatment plan: our Certified Arborists are on call at 214-971-1618!

Cleaning Up Your Fall Leaves

fall leavesMany of us would agree that fall leaves are more pleasing to look at than they are to clean up. Here we have compiled a few tips to help you when that time does come, and where to turn if you discover your trees need maintenance after they have dropped their leaves.

Leaf Clean Up Pointers

  • Wait patiently to start cleaning. While it is irritating to see your yard become coated with leaves, try to wait until all the leaves have fallen before cleaning them up. Cleaning up leaves all in one effort instead of several times in smaller amounts will save you hours of precious time.
  • Clean up leaves when they are dry. Wet leaves are heavier than dry leaves, so cleaning up dry leaves will keep you from hauling unnecessarily heavy loads.
  • Wait until the wind calms down. Choose a day with low wind to clean up leaves. Wind will scatter your piles around and make cleaning more difficult. If you must work on a windy day, rake in the direction the wind is blowing so the wind can carry the leaves to one side.
  • Consider using motorized equipment. Mulchers and leaf blowers make clean up quick and easy, but raking and cleaning by hand is a great fall work out.

After your trees have dropped their leaves is the perfect opportunity to check for tree damage. If you notice fungi, errant branches, or other issues, call our team at 817-714-1777 for expert tree care!

Basic Tree Care

integrity1While all trees require some care to keep them healthy and vibrant, trees that have been planted withing the last three years require regular watering and care to prosper. Young trees that do not receive the care they need become susceptible to disease and pests that can cause the tree to die.

These helpful tips for basic tree care can help you keep your trees healthy and growing.

Weekly Watering

All living organisms need water to survive. Without the proper amount of water, your tree will not receive the nutrients it needs to stay healthy, and any dreams of shade will evaporate in the Texas heat. Trees should be given 25 gallons of water per week. This is equivalent to about one and a half inches of rainfall.

Mulch Maintenance

Mulch is a great way to retain moisture around the base of your tree so that its roots have ready access to the nutrients they need to continue to flourish. Additionally, mulch will help prevent weeds that can steal moisture and nutrients from your tree.

When applying mulch follow the 3-3-3 rule – 3 inches of mulch in a 3-foot radius surrounding your tree with 3 inches of space left immediately around the base of your tree. We recommend composted leaves or shredded bark as the base for your mulch.

Protect the Base of Your Tree

There are several protection concerns for your trees such as small animals and lawn maintenance equipment like weed whackers and lawn mowers. Installing a trunk guard is one of the most effective measures to prevent small rodents or equipment from damaging a tree trunk.

Pruning and Trimming

Make sure to clean your pruning and trimming tools after every use to maintain clean and sharp tools that can effectively assist you in keeping your tree healthy. When making a cut, cut over the collar of the bud, branch or trunk without cutting into the flesh of the tree.

Woodpeckers: What To Do

woodpeckerWoodpeckers are beautiful birds, but they can cause untold damage to anything they decide to peck on. Woodpecker holes open up your trees to potentially contract diseases or become infested with insects. Fortunately there are several ways to repel woodpeckers without harming the bird or your tree, and here we have detailed a few of these methods.

Tree Remedies

One of the simplest approaches to preventing woodpecker damage is to keep them from getting to your trees in the first place. If your area is known to host woodpeckers, taking these precautions may prove wise to protect your cherished trees. Bird netting is a common way to keep birds away from trunks. It is similar to soccer goal netting and is available in a variety of colors and thicknesses to naturally blend in with your trees. There are also special substances that can be applied to trees that are sticky enough to keep birds from returning but not so sticky as to harm it.

Woodpeckers are afraid of shiny objects, so hanging old CDs, small mirrors, and other similar objects in trees will keep them away. Special holographic tape has been designed that will repel birds while sticking to trees or other surfaces.

If you have a tree being plagued by woodpeckers or is otherwise unwell, call our arbor experts today at 214-971-1618! 

What Does “Vertical Mulching” Mean?

picture of a treeFor those of you out there without a green thumb, you may wonder about what a lot of the technical jargon regarding plants means. Don’t worry, we can help elucidate these terms. To that end, we’ll go over the practice of vertical mulching here.

What does it mean?

Vertical mulching becomes necessary when the roots of trees don’t get enough from the soil. It uses the same material as regular mulching, however uses a different process of getting it to the tree. Whereas regular mulching places mulch on the ground around the tree, vertical mulching goes INTO the ground where the roots lie. It does this by poking holes in the soil using a specialized air tool that can’t damage the roots. These holes then get filled with mulch, which the roots can absorb directly.


If you’d like to take advantage of this service, get a hold of the professionals at Integrity Tree Care. When you call us, you’ll get quality service that will leave you satisfied with the health of your trees. To find out more, please give us a call at (817) 714-1777 or (214) 971-1618.

Our Tree Stump Removal Services

tree stump removalHave you gotten tired of that old tree stump taking up space in your lawn? If so, you may want to take advantage of our tree stump removal services here at Integrity Tree Care. We can help you get your yard back in perfect condition. Here, we’ll go over what we offer with this service for your convenience.

Types Of Stump Removal:

Generally, you can get your tree stump out via 1 of 3 methods. We’ll go over each one here. When you call us, we will usually use one of the first 2.

By Hand:

For trees that didn’t get very big, we can just hand dig their stumps out. This requires a bit more manual neighbor, but gets the job done just as effectively.


Grinders come in just about any size; we can easily use them to mulch up a tree all the down to the roots under the ground.


Many garden stores carry chemicals that you can use on your tree to catalyze the rotting process. However, this takes time. Manual removal proves much quicker.


If you need tree stump removal services in Fort Worth, TX, Integrity Tree Care can help. To find out more about this or any of our other services, please give us a call at (817) 714-1777 or (214) 971-1618.