Cabling and bracing are a small part of a larger category of supplemental support systems, used to provide support to leaders, individual branches, and/or entire trees. Cables, and braces provide supplemental support by limiting the movement of the branches, leaders, or of the entire tree.

When a tree has a structural defect or a condition that poses a high risk of failure, which may result in injury or property damage, a supplemental support system can often reduce the risk. However, not all potential hazards can be mitigated by an engineered support system.