MIS310 Tree Support Systems

MIS310 Tree Support Systems

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MIS310 Tree Support Systems

Minimum Industry Standard series

Members Price is for Members of The New Zealand Arboricultural Association (NZARB).

The vision of NZ Arb is to represent the arboriculture community and make it the primary organisation for tree care and to maintain relevancy to the Association’s members, so if you are in the NZ tree care industry please consider joining NZARB by clicking the link above if you are not already a member.


This book is one in a series of Minimum Industry Standards produced by Arboriculture Australia Ltd and the New Zealand Arboricultural Association in consultation with the national arboriculture community in both countries. These industry peer-reviewed documents provide a ‘body of knowledge’ which is shared by practitioners and can be used as the basis for training, dissemination of skills and professional development.

This standard covers the work tasks of specifying and installing tree support systems, including bracing, cabling, guying and propping trees. A brief summary is provided of the underpinning knowledge necessary to select and install suitable support systems.



1: Introduction to tree support systems

  • Tree support system process and responsibilities
  • Tree support systems and liability


2: Tree structure and health 

Introduction to forces in structures 

  • Force, lever arm and bending moment
  • Stress

Tree structure 

  • The tree as a biomechanical structure
  • Axiom of uniform stress
  • Thigmomorphogenesis
  • Impact of support systems on thigmomorphogenesis
  • Strategy of flexibility
  • Mass damping
  • Impact of support systems on dynamic movement
  • Shock loading
  • Torsional failure
  • Growth habit and structure
  • Branch and stem attachment
  • Strength of branch and stem unions
  • Co-dominant stems
  • Crossing or rubbing branches
  • Natural bracing
  • Species and structure

Tree health

  • The tree as a living organism
  • Tree physiology
  • Sapwood and hardwood
  • Tree bark
  • Compartmentalisation and barriers to decay
  • Occlusion
  • Biosecurity and transmission of pathogens

3: Designing and installing support systems 

  • Identifying the need for a support system
  • Factors for consideration
  • Checklist for specifying a structural support system

Preparatory pruning 

  • Performing works
  • Classes of preparatory pruning
  • Reduction pruning
  • Branch or stem weight reduction
  • Weight reduction: thinning
  • Weight reduction: reduction pruning
  • Pruning classes for weight reduction
  • Example: heavy weight reduction pruning
  • Retrenchment pruning





3.1 Cabling 

  • Cabling systems: catch or support
  • Steel and textile cable systems
  • Cable system plans
  • Location of the system
  • System tension and elasticity
  • Determining the required strength of the system
  • Method 1: use of a standard size chart
  • Method 2: estimating the load
  • 1: Estimate the weight of the section
  • 2: Calculate the bending moment at a given point
  • 3: Determine the required load rating of cable system
  • Installation recommendations for cable systems
  • Specifying the design of a cable system
  • Installing a cabling system
  • 1: Installing a textile system
  • Required tools and materials
  • Installation instructions for textile cable systems
  • 2: Installing a steel cabling system
  • Tools and components for a steel cable system
  • Cable termination
  • Installation instructions for steel cable systems
  • Cable anchor installation
  • Cable system inspection and maintenance
  • Re-cabling

3.2 Bracing

  • Designing a bracing system
  • Bracing system types
  • Determining the required strength of the bracing system
  • Method 1: use of a standard size chart
  • Method 2: estimating the load
  • Determining load rating of bracing system
  • Example: calculating load rating of a bracing system
  • Specifying the design of a bracing system
  • Installing bracing
  • Tools and components for a bracing system
  • Installation instructions for bracing
  • Bracing system inspection and maintenance

3.3 Guying

  • Designing a guying system
  • Required strength of guying system
  • Number of guys
  • Installation of guying systems
  • Guying system inspection and maintenance

3.4 Propping 

  • Types of prop
  • Designing propping systems
  • Specifying propping systems




Minimum Industry Standards

The Minimum Industry Standard series is dedicated to all our fellow workers who have lost their lives or have been permanently injured working in the arboriculture and vegetation management industries.

The Minimum Industry Standards project is an Arboriculture Australia led initiative that the NZ Arb is pleased and proud to be involved with. Having joined the programme, NZ Arb works alongside Arboriculture Australia to develop these Minimum Industry Standards. Each Minimum Industry Standard (MIS) provides the key knowledge that is necessary to perform the work task.


Dimensions 150 x 210 mm
Pages 179
Cover Soft Cover
Binding Wire-O