Splayed Branches On Conifer

After the snow this winter, some of the branches on our conifers have splayed out. They look very unsightly so I want to tie them back in. Can anyone what I should to use and any other advice. I presume string is no good. Thanks.
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On Sun, 28 Apr 2013 22:00:35 +0200, ploppygb

Which conifers and where? Most conifers come warm weather unless branches are actually broken will repair themselves.
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On 4/28/13 1:00 PM, ploppygb wrote:

What kind of conifer?
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David E. Ross
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'David E. Ross[_2_ Wrote:

Well, it's green and about 12ft at the moment! I can't imagine that it will fix itself.
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On Mon, 29 Apr 2013 21:34:50 +0200, ploppygb

How about you find out what kiind of tree, ask someone. sheesh!

You'd be surprised... so long as the branches are not fractured they will spring back once the temperature warms and the sap begins to flow. Most conifer branches are extremely flexible... with the weight of snow branches can bend significantly and not break... as the snow falls off the branches will slowly go back to their original position. And it's best you do absolutely nothing, you cannot help, any attempt at propping up will make the situation worse... leave the tree to do its own thing in it's own time. I live in a snow belt, temperatures often dive to -20, I have literally thousands of assorted conifers on my property... used to be a Christmas tree farm, but is now a mixed forest with mostly conifers. Every winter I watch the snow weigh down the branches and then when the snow melts/drops off, and temperatures rise all the trees regain their original configuration. I also have lots of multi-trunked birch, those trunks will bend until their tops touch the ground, and lo and behold they spring back too. With conifers only the very old large trees will lose branches because they are no longer supple, but your 12' conifer is very likely just a baby, its limbs will bend like rubber. With most conifers snow can only accumulate on the branch ends, not near the trunk... the young branch ends are extremely supple, that's why they splayed. It's a good sign they splayed, old rigid branches would break.
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Brooklyn1 wrote:

Or provide a picture already.
D
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On 4/29/13 12:34 PM, ploppygb wrote:

I meant: Is it an Italian cypress, red cedar, deodar cedar, fir, Aleppo pine, podocarpus, arborvitae, blue spruce, juniper, etc, etc?
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ploppygb wrote ...

twine is likely too small and sharp and will cut into the bark. it needs a pad, use old rags to give the branch some cushion.
songbird
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ploppygb wrote

By binding that type of conifer like a mummy light will be prevented from entering the interior and air circulation will also be limited... you are killing that tree... leave it to its own devices and it will correct itself at its own pace. The splayed branches will send out new shoots to fill the gaps, in a short time you'll have a wider fuller healthier tree... if it's not broken don't fix it.
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Thanks for all the responses.
Not convinced it's an Italian cypress. The examples on 'tinternet are much much narrower than this one.
Also, I feel as if the tree is getting a little too big. Ours is a fairly small garden and I'd ideally have a couple of feet taken off the top (btw, I didn't plant it - it came with the house!). Can these be pruned/trimmed? I don't think I'd try it myself, would probably pay someone who knows what they're doing.
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ploppygb wrote:

I suggest you determine exactly what kind of tree you have... in your picture, which is not to o clear, I'll take a stab that it's arborvitae... it can be pruned to your desired hieght: http://www.ask.com/explore/pruning-arborvitae
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On Wed, 8 May 2013 21:45:10 +0200, ploppygb

Still not a very sharp image but I'd bet it's arborvitae.
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On 4/28/2013 3:00 PM, ploppygb wrote:

That's a very common mishap with arborvitae, and in fact is one of their drawbacks. Depending on the size of the branches, people have used anything from pantyhose to heavy rope. Whatever you use, it's not a good idea to wrap or tie it snugly around a branch, since that will cut into the branch as it grows. I prefer to simply circle two or more of the affected branches with rope, then tie the ends of the rope together. That allows the branches some movement in the wind while still pulling them together (and/or upright, depending on the type of evergreen) without the risk of the rope cutting into any branches. Rope will also decay over time, which is a good thing if the branches eventually assume their natural posture and require no further support, but a bit of a nuisance if you eventually need to tie them up again.
I've got some 60+ year old globe arborvitae that have grown so large, the biggest branches sag under their own weight. Come a heavy wet snow or a high wind and they'd snap, so I provide support to a couple of the largest/longest branches with 4 x 4 posts to help maintain the shrub's general shape.
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