Preventing snow damage to shrubs

Last winter, wet, heavy snow fell on my arbor vitaes (of various heights and shapes. The snow's weight fanned out the tops, which lead to damaged crotches. This year, I want to wrap something around the tops to hold them together. I was thinking of using a band (maybe 12 inches wide) of burlap or landscapers fabric. I'm not sure how to hold the ends together. Clothespins? Safety pins?
Thanks for you suggestions and comments?
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"Ray K" wrote

You're on the right track. Use burlap, and pin it with nails, around a #6 common.
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Cooper wrote:

Yes, that's just what I need to hold the burlap together. Thanks.
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I saw a house in town last week with small wooden structures around all the shrubs in the yard. The structures looked like rectangles that were hinged together on the top and there were legs. They looked almost like easels standing over the top of each shrub. Obviously, the snow wouldn't end up on top of each shrub this way. Made sense to me.
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Tracey wrote:

Sounds a bit complicated, since I have about 10 shrubs needing protection, two of which are over 7 feet high. Thanks.

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Ray K wrote:

Bungy strap? Those El Cheapo ones from Dollar store last couple seasons. Tony
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Tony Hwang wrote:

My concern would be that they are rather thin. So if I place them too low, then the branches above them might still fan out. If I place them just below the top, winds might loosen some of the branches. Some of the shrubs are conical, so this wouldn't help them.
Thanks for the suggestion.
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Ray K wrote:

I've never tied shrubs in winter, but old pantyhose are great for tying plants to stakes. Cut off the pants part of course :o) They dry quickly, so won't harbor fungus. Soft, strong, cheap. Get out there and brush off the shrubs if you get a ton of snow.
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Norminn wrote:

Same thing my girlfriend suggested. They would certainly work for the smaller shrubs. Two of the 7' shrubs are about eight feet around at the top. So I'd have to link more than one pair together to wrap around.
Thanks.
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If your girlfriend is tall, it's a bit less work :o) Tie two or three together - I forgot that I used them to tie back shrubs when our condo was painted, to keep them out of the fresh paint. You still should clear the snow if it piles up and is heavy. No snow here, but it's darn cold. Have to wear sweats :o)
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Burlap would work fine.
I have a 4 tall (~12 ft) arborvitaes flanking my front door. What I've done is wound a strong string around the tree, top to bottom, holding it together, and I just leave it in there all year round. I work it in to the major trunks, so it's not that visible.
Dave.
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Dave Mitton wrote:

Great idea. Cheaper and easier than burlap. Thanks.
Ray
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