The Chinese people are devoted to the many gardens that are in and around the cities and towns. The streetscapes are extra ordinary. One thing I find fascinating is the care of trees. In some parts (including Shanghai) the trees are stabilised with bamboo or timber frames, but here in Shaoxing, the trees are roped. When I first asked students about this, they could not explain. But later I was told it was to make the tree strong. Perhaps it forces the growth upwards - the rope that is. The trees have this rope from the base to quite high. In some cases it is rotting and breaking away, but does not seem to be replaced.
Another explanation was to keep it warm in the cold winter and snow. Either way I've not seen or heard of this practice anywhere else.