Knots for Tree-Tenders; to Pull Branches into Line, to Straighten Trunks ... They're Easy to Tie or Untie

Sunset, November 1990 | Go to article overview

Knots for Tree-Tenders; to Pull Branches into Line, to Straighten Trunks ... They're Easy to Tie or Untie


No more difficult to learn than tying your shoe, three knots (show below and on page 162) will make it much easier for you to tend your trees. The knots can help pull errant branches into line, or straighten trunks bent by snow. You'll also find them useful for lashing down large items that you might load into the back of a truck. These knots are also easy to untie, even after being cinched tight in all kinds of weather.

The knots

The bowline (pronounced bow-len) is the most important knot because it can fasten one end of the rope to a tree without constricting the bark. (Constriction is deadly: it strangles branches.) Tie the bowline according to the photographs at left. Start with a rope that's three times as long as the space to be spanned.

The other two knots secure the opposite end of the rope and provide an easy, built-in way for you to increase or decrease tension on the line.

The second of our three knots (shown at the top of page 162) is nothing more than a slipknot with an extra twist; the twist keeps the knot from cinching up too tightly when it's under tension. The loop in the knot also serves as a pulley when you're ready to tighten the rope.

The final knot is really just a combination of two half-hitches that hold tension on the rope.

How the pulley works

After you've tied one end of the rope to the tree with a bowline and put a slipknot halfway between the tree and stake, run the rope around the stake and back through the slipknot. …

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