[NAFEX] Rope

William C. Garthright billg at inebraska.com
Tue May 27 15:35:26 EDT 2008

Long story short, I'm going to need to tie up some dwarf fruit trees, or 
they'll fall over when they get fruit. They've got branches on only 1/4 
of the tree (yeah, I've decided this wasn't a particularly good idea). 
Cable is very awkward to use, but I've seen some 5/8" braided 
poly-something rope that's supposed to last awhile outdoors (the young 
clerk told me 5 to 20 years, but I suspect he was just pulling those 
numbers out of thin air). It's about 4-500 lb. test.

Anyway, if I tie a loop around the trunk using a bowline knot, it 
shouldn't slip tight, and I'll leave plenty of room for the trunk to 
grow (I imagine that tying a knot tightly around a trunk would be a bad 
idea). And the rope is soft enough that it will flatten out on the far 
side, so it should provide a pretty broad surface there, I'd think. But 
before I buy the rope, I thought I'd ask if there's any downside here. 
Something I haven't considered? (That wouldn't surprise me!)


Lincoln, NE (zone 5)

PS. If you *really* want the long version, read on:  I came across this 
"backyard orchard culture" idea 
(http://www.davewilson.com/homegrown/BOC_explained.html) when I was 
first thinking of planting some fruit (I was, and still am, a complete 
newbie). So I planted four different kinds of dwarf apples in one spot, 
then did the same with plums and peaches. The first thing I discovered 
is that keeping these trees really small is much harder than it sounds. 
The second thing is that they're very hard to prune, when they're 
planted four to a hole (more or less). And now I'm realizing that, since 
each tree has branches on only one corner, they're likely to fall over 
as soon as they get any fruit on them.

I've got a steel t-post driven down in the center of each group of four 
trees, so I'll be tying each tree to that. Yeah, I don't expect the post 
to hold them up, but this way they'll be tied together. But let me tell 
you, it's already very hard to get to the center. The rope would be a 
lot easier to work with than anything else I've come up with.

And no, I wouldn't do this again. Maybe I'd try a row of closely-spaced 
trees, though. At least then, they'd have branches on two sides, to keep 
them somewhat balanced.

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed 
by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes 
frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning 
yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche

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