Anchoring Guy Wires - Share Your Techniques, Tips, Tricks

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I’ve only used guy wires with training pots - drilling holes and threading wire. Simple.

What are the best practices for anchoring guy wires to ceramic pots?

I’m not familiar with techniques used to secure the wire to the pot itself without causing damage.

Of course you could use another branch, trunk, or strong root - but what if that’s not an option? I’ve brainstormed some ideas, but I’d like to learn your best practices.

Thanks for sharing the tips and tricks.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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I'm asking you to please don't. I have enough struggles as it is.

As for physical wires, I use either the wire that I use to wire the tree into the pot OR a root (but with protection) or a branch (but with protection) or another thicker wire on the trunk or branch (without protection).
I also have rubber coated iron wire, which is 1mm wire coated in 4mm of rubber that I can wrap around my pots with two "o"s on the end. It doesn't look pretty, but it doesn't damage or discolor ceramics.
One other possibility is to make a hook, hook it through the bottom of your pot and attach your guy wire to it. Protect the pot with tape around the wire or by adding a piece of rubber.
I've also used screws and nails to attach guy wires to; nails cause the least damage but they also don't hold very well in live tissue. Make sure they are at an angle. Staples could work as well.

Then there's always the option of jamming a piece of wood or rebar into your pot and attach the guy wires to that.
 

Brian Van Fleet

Pretty Fly for a Bonsai Guy
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You can wrap a thin wire around a thicker wire, and thread it up through the drain holes. Guy wires are limited to moving a branch in one plane only, and I try to use them more to pull two branches closer together rather than as a primary styling technique. I also use screws to anchor them if I can do it without leaving scars in visible locations:
 
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20190929_135909.jpgI've only used wires once so far, but how I anchored them was to put a wire under the lip of the pot like a bridle, and ran my wires under it. Worked good for me.
 

penumbra

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Quick and easy, I have run zip ties around the perimeter of the pot and attach my wire to that, running it through a piece of aquarium tubing where it goes around the branch. I have also used just zip ties in nursery pots, through a hole in the rim of the pot and around the branch. A small piece of foam cushions the branch contact. Not pretty, but it doesn't need to be. Takes only a couple minutes.
And I have also used wire in all the methods mentioned above.
 

BrianBay9

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For a larger bonsai, or one with thick bark, insert a stainless steel screw into the trunk and attach guy wires to that. Once removed the hole heals very quickly.
 

Forsoothe!

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Yeah, one end goes to the tree, but the other end has to go somewhere, and therein lays the rub. I have some surplus machine safety screen woven vinyl coated wire with 1" square openings. Here, the tree is hog-tied to the screen and then I have a lot of places at a variety of angles to pull down a branch and anchor it.
FO 2019_1229Restyle0006.JPG
This is a ~12" square basket that has 2" or 4" high sides. The tree doesn't need to be hog-tied in because it can't slide away sideways.
FGM 2019_1206EditBonsai0017.JPG
FGM 2019_1206EditBonsai0018.JPG
It ain't pretty, but it works and is easy to tweak over time. And reuseable for years.
 

Lazylightningny

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Personally, referring to securing the guy wire to the pot iteslf, I've made a hook with larger gauge wire and hooked it into one of the drain holes. Secure the guy wire to the tree using aquarium tubing as padding, then tie it off to the hook and tighten over time as needed. you can pad the wire where it lays against the pot with just about anything. It's certainly not show quality guy wiring, but it gets the job done. If you want it to look good, you definitely need to go with BVF's method.
 

Dav4

Drop Branch Murphy
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If you look closely, this tree has guy wires attached at the drainage hole outside of the pot and running to deadwood on the trunk, as well as guy wires running from wired branches... attached to the wire... and attached to deadwood... lots of different ways to get it done.
IMG_3893.jpg
 

River's Edge

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Form a rectangle with four chopsticks ( trunk in the center of the rectangle). Wire the tips of the chopsticks together and then anchor the rectangle over the edge and under the pot to the other side, securing the rectangle at soil level. Now you can proceed to use any point on the chopsticks as an anchor point for guy wires!
 
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Form a rectangle with four chopsticks ( trunk in the center of the rectangle). Wire the tips of the chopsticks together and then anchor the rectangle over the edge and under the pot to the other side, securing the rectangle at soil level. Now you can proceed to use any point on the chopsticks as an anchor point for guy wires!
This was my first thought. Seems stable and universal. I was thinking bamboo, but anything ridged should work.
 

Sansui

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I’ve only used guy wires with training pots - drilling holes and threading wire. Simple.

What are the best practices for anchoring guy wires to ceramic pots?

I’m not familiar with techniques used to secure the wire to the pot itself without causing damage.

Of course you could use another branch, trunk, or strong root - but what if that’s not an option? I’ve brainstormed some ideas, but I’d like to learn your best practices.

Thanks for sharing the tips and tricks.
Add a fishing tri-swivel to the existing drainage screen wire leg(s) or make tie points when you install your drainage screen wire retainers. Make one leg extra long to form the anchor loops.
 

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Warpig

Chumono
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Great topic. Lots of good tools to have. 👍
With that said.

I was wondering if I could get some thoughts on you have found as your preferred way of tightening? I recently did one that turned vary well useing a tourniquet method.
 

JudyB

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With that said.

I was wondering if I could get some thoughts on you have found as your preferred way of tightening? I recently did one that turned vary well useing a tourniquet method.
I always double my wire, so it's basically one large loop. Insert a stiff short metal stick ( I use a nut pick) in the middle of the loop and turn. You can come back anytime and tighten more, so you can do the bending in stages.
 

BrianBay9

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For larger trees you can insert a turnbuckle to tighten

1585328294560.png
 

River's Edge

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With that said.

I was wondering if I could get some thoughts on you have found as your preferred way of tightening? I recently did one that turned vary well useing a tourniquet method.
The tourniquet works well for shorter amounts of tightening. Turnbuckles work well with the limit determined by the center opening distance. For stronger branches it is best to wire normal for direction and movement, and then use a jack to position the angle and hold while the guy wire is attached. Hose over the wire or rubber pads at contact points are suggested to limit scarring or bruising of contact points.
 
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