The process of supporting trees in this manner is calledyukitsuri, and the most common method is using vertical bamboo poles with ropes attached to the major branches of each tree. Literally translated, yukitsuri means “tree suspenders,” which, I suppose, is exactly what they are.
Supporting some of the larger trees can be fairly time consuming, and upwards of 800 individual ropes can be used in some places, although the exact amount needed depends on a variety of factors. These necessary pieces of engineering are both functional and beautiful, keeping in line with much Japanese architecture.
It is believed that this practice started in the early 1600s, although the exact date is unknown. In many of the country’s famous gardens, this practice is carried out still, and it has been turned into a beautiful ornamental display. Some areas, such as Tokyo, do not receive as much snow in the winter months, but the practice is still carried out as a traditional indication of the weather soon to come.