Will allowing a cable eye bolt to become overgrown damage the trees or must the cables be replaced?

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    Do you mean when a cable or similar is against the same area of bark for so long that the tree grows around and engulfs it? Usually the cable's fine (and impossible to move), and the tree has a slightly weakened point there, but not usually weak enough to cause breakage... – J. Musser Feb 3 '16 at 15:33
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    Pictures please – kevinskio Feb 3 '16 at 22:20

Both trees are generally relatively short lived trees. Silver Maple has weak joints. You are eventually going to lose the tree. You may want to start a replacement tree 10 feet to the side.

However, the bolt being engulfed by the tree is no big deal. There may be issues with the flex and motion of the cable keeping a wound open. You may want to fill it with some flexible material. (I'd suggest silicone based window caulking)

The bolt IS a big deal to someone taking down the tree. Hitting a bolt with your chainsaw is not a good start to the day.

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    I agree except with the suggestion about silicon caulking. That sounds like another kind of wound paint that Alex Shigo showed acted to keep moisture and pathogens in, not out. – kevinskio Feb 9 '16 at 19:06
  • Someone will see the cable's point of entry, as far as chain sawing is concerned. Also, both trees are comparatively Short lived, but unless they are already old, I don't see an urgency to replace them as a result of the overgrowth of a bolt/cable. That in itself will not affect the longevity of the tree. – J. Musser Feb 10 '16 at 0:29

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