couple of months back I had a string loosely tied to a branch to help a shoot grow in a certain direction. I somehow didn’t pay attention when applying latex paint which solidified the string. Today I noticed it was strangling the branch. Lesson learnt and I hope the tree can recover
It’s amazing how quickly they can size up! It should recover just fine, but will probably always look a bit funny.
I use paracord a lot on my greenhouse avocados, which tend to want to sprawl more than I want them to:
It works great, but I do regularly move them as branches harden and no longer need the support. I’ve added garden tape slings to a few spots, but mostly don’t bother:
I’d say the key (other than not forgetting about them) is to make sure you don’t have the cord tied completely around the stem’s circumference in one spot. Have it only applying pressure on one side. This same part of this tree has had paracord pulling here for nearly 18 months straight and shows only slight scarring:
I repurpose old tee-shirts… cut them up into strips… i use them for tomato ties or for many situations like the one above… pulling fig shoots so they all get good light. Pulling apple tree limbs down, etc…
I use thick sisal twine to help me train branches all the time and it’s pretty hard to girdle a tree with it. It’s is especially valuable for training peach scaffolds if you don’t have an abundance of good stakes, rocky soil makes staking difficult, or when you don’t want stakes as obstacles when mowing. I will wrap a long piece of sting in the middle twice around a base of a tree and tie two loops at the end of both sides of the sting. Then I can make a loop knot around two branches with separate pieces of string and tie them to the loops of the base string pieces, pulling the branches to more horizontal position.
Even after a season of vigorous growth. somehow the double looped, tightly tied to the trunk knot at the base of the tree does know harm… and I mean very vigorous growth, like a doubling of diameter. I guess the twine gets stretched by the tree.
twine like this… https://www.amleo.com/sisal-twine-2-ply-10-pound-ball/p/210ST
Rubber bicycle inner tube cut into 8-10" pieces. Run your string/twine through the center of the piece of tubing then tie it loosely around the branch you want to train.
I used to use garden tape. It’s cheap enough. It looks bad though and I have switched to twine. I hate shaping trees this way. Once in while I can shape trees by direction of growth by pruning to lateral branches. Some though have such bad upward growth its best to tie. Some of my best looking scaffolds were shaped by pruning though. So if I can I shape by pruning.