Wrapped trees in Japan - redux

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Wrapped trees in Japan - redux

Post  JimLewis on Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:18 am

A few weeks ago we had a discussion (somewhere, I could not find it) about why trees got wrapped with straw in Japan. I searched for some pictures of an old (300-year-old) pine at Hama Rikyu Garden, but of course could not find them

Now I have, so just to note that it sometimes is more than just a single little wrap around the trunk (for whatever purpose) here are the pictures. You can get some scale with Jackie sitting on a nearby bench in the last picture.






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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Wrapped trees in Japan - redux

Post  Orion on Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:01 pm

Maybe to prevent them from breaking?? Looks like with the age and weight of those limbs that they are waiting to snap.

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Re: Wrapped trees in Japan - redux

Post  Fore on Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:02 pm

Boy, that's impressive! I too am thinking to prevent breakage. Wonder if they have a problem with diseases having the bark covered continuously like that? Thanks for showing the pics Jim!
Chris

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Re: Wrapped trees in Japan - redux

Post  Poink88 on Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:45 pm

Curious.

I doubt it is for reinforcement, raffia deteriorates and will loose its strength easily over time (unless they plan on re-doing this annually). Also the way this is wrapped almost to the ends of the major branches does not support the reinforcement theory. They would have done it only on the high stress areas. This or they decided to do it extensively for aesthetic reasons and hide reinforcement steel or something.

Edit In:
Googled it and found these...
http://merliannews.com/Environmental_Awareness_46/Reclaiming_the_Ancient_Tradition_of_Tree_Wrapping_by_Jan_Johnsen.shtml
http://asian-images.photoshelter.com/image/I0000Fjk.NoUlEY0
"Tree wrapping has been practiced for thousands of years in Japan, where it has been elevated to a kind of art form. Although in Japanese gardens and parks it is a protective measure to protect trees in winter, it derives from the Japanese Shinto tradition consisting of wrapping the trunks of specially honored trees with a braided and twisted rope called a ‘shimenawa’."

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Re: Wrapped trees in Japan - redux

Post  Fore on Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:56 pm

Very cool Poink88! Thanks for looking that up. I'd never had guessed Wink

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Re: Wrapped trees in Japan - redux

Post  Poink88 on Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:04 pm

The way they propped/supported the branches of this tree, the wrapping, and the fence around it...it must be very special.

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Re: Wrapped trees in Japan - redux

Post  Orion on Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:28 pm

I just read a site that describes this very practice. They call it komo-maki. The idea according to the article is to wrap the trunks and/or branches just as we see in these pics, and it traps insect larvae. It went on further to state that larvae will drop to the ground at the onset of winter and borrow under the leaves. The komo prevents them from dropping off and surviving the winter. Come spring the komo is burned.

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Re: Wrapped trees in Japan - redux

Post  JimLewis on Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:32 am

The tree -- which supposedly is the largest black pine in Tokyo, as well as the oldest -- can be seen at Hama Rikyu Garden in Tokyo. http://www.yamasa.org/japan/english/destinations/tokyo/hamarikyuu.html

and here's an overall picture of the tree: http://www.yamasa.org/japan/english/destinations/tokyo/hamarikyuu2_600.html

And if you squint you can read something about the tree on the sign in one of the pics I took at the top of the thread.

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Re: Wrapped trees in Japan - redux

Post  Guest on Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:16 pm

...I thought these are specially ordered oversized rafia. and the next step would be huge wire for wiring and bending the tree. Razz

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Re: Wrapped trees in Japan - redux

Post  Todd Ellis on Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:59 pm

Jun, You're funny my friend! thumbs up

In looking at Jim's photos of this Black Pine, I can now see where the inspiration for many of the Shimpaku Bonsai comes from. Beautiful beyond words. Thanks for the pictures Jim!
Best,
Todd

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Re: Wrapped trees in Japan - redux

Post  dick benbow on Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:30 pm

one of the things i enjoy especially on aka matsue is the flaky red bark. I'm not so sure you could retain much of it with this method. Course if the choice is to loose the tree to insects then, well I quess a little bark will have to go.

Thank for the chuckle Jun....

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Re: Wrapped trees in Japan - redux

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:03 pm

I noticed a photo I took of another wrapped tree. This is at one of the Kyoto Shrines.

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Re: Wrapped trees in Japan - redux

Post  Russell Coker on Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:40 pm




What is that Billy? Seems like I remember seeing old pines and apricots wrapped, but I don't recognize this. Maybe a kousa dogwood?

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Re: Wrapped trees in Japan - redux

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:10 pm

I don't know, can't remember, never knew, Rob K. was with me, maybe he can ID it. I am terrible at Japanese garden names, this was at one of the major shrines in Kyoto.

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Re: Wrapped trees in Japan - redux

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