While working on a few trees recently I was lamenting the habit of my bunjin pines to fall over, sometimes even in a slight wind. We’ve had some pretty good winter storms here in the Bay Area this year, and trees falling on one another has been the cause of more than one broken branch recently. Anchoring the trees is the obvious solution, one that I try to do, but sometimes neglect. I bought some nice black twine last year for this exact purpose.
Matt learned this technique while in Japan. On my recent visit I noted many trees in the garden of Kunio Kobayashi tied in the same fashion, using plastic rope. Matt mentioned that different techniques can be used for different shape pots, this technique is commonly used for round pots in his experience.
Not all trees that I saw tied down used the double loop. Tyler Sherrod is currently the senior apprentice at Shinji Suzuki’s Obuse nursery. On my recent visit, many of the trees were tied down using a single loop of black rope.
Whatever technique you use, take the time to tie down trees to prevent accidents. You never know when the wind or a raccoon might knock over a tree – which can cause you years of setback if you’re unlucky.