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MIS310 – Tree Support Systems (Member Price)

A Minimum Industry Standard for Tree Support Systems


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.


About the MIS Series


This book is one in a series of Minimum Industry Standards (MIS) 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.

MIS310 – Tree Support Systems (Member Price)

  • 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


    Tree structure 

    The tree as a biomechanical structure

    Axiom of uniform stress


    • 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


    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



    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

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