Updated: Oct 8, 2020
In the last Blog post of Mr. Tanaka’s work, many of you commented on the rope that he used instead of raffia to make a bend on the trunk. Instead of answering the questions on the comments section, I decided to write a quick post about the rope itself and hopefully you can find something similar to it at your local hardware or garden center.
So What Is It?
It’s pretty much a flat vinyl rope. There’s no adhesive on one side or anything. Here in Japan, we have to go to a garden center to get it, but people here refer to it as construction rope. Apparently it’s used to tie things together so it’s nothing garden specific. A large roll of it cost only about 10 dollars so pretty inexpensive stuff. Since Mr. Tanaka can be very practical at times, one day he decided to try using it instead of raffia with great results.
Rope vs. Raffia
The rope itself is very strong and doesn’t stretch at all. It’s much easier to use then raffia and doesn’t need water. I’ve always thought that raffia was such a pain to use because of the water and the different length strains. With this rope, you just cut a desired length and apply it to the tree. We know it works because we’ve used it on many different trees here at the nursery with great success. Also, since the rope doesn’t degrade, when it’s time to remove it, it comes apart very easily and clean. So far, I haven’t found a single reason to go back to raffia.
I remember when I first learned about the use of raffia for bending and the benefits it has. One thing I heard a lot was that the raffia will retain water and help the branch or trunk heal better after the bend. What I found with this vinyl rope is that it doesn’t breath and actually holds more water on the branch or trunk then raffia. I believe this plays a big part in helping the tree mend itself after a bend.
We have found two kinds of this vinyl rope and it seems like a preference as to which one you’d like to use. Here’s some pictures to show you up close what it looks like.
Use What Suites You
Well there you have it. Hopefully that clears us the mystery behind this rope. I’m not sure the same rope is available worldwide but I’m sure you can find something similar to it in your home country. All in all, it’s about what you like to use and what works best for you. This rope is just another product that works so I’m sharing it with you all. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my apprenticeship is that there a many different methods to get to the same goal. Go with what works for you.
Thanks for reading.