What do you use for props?

I haven’t been able to find bamboo rounds besides what’s available on the Mirai store. I just can’t bring myself to pay the $35 plus shipping. I used chopsticks for my quince repottings. They were okay, but on a larger tree it’s just not gonna work. Too little surface area on the chopstick means that all of that pressure makes the chopstick go through root ball.

Anyway, I thought about giving something like this a go. Has anyone tried using something like this? Other suggestions?

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Those would probably work, however, I encourage you to rethink the idea that 35 + shipping is too much. What would you expect to pay for a specialty item like this? Maybe you can find something at half the price, but will it give you the versatility and utility of the real thing. So for $17 dollars you’ll subject yourself to years of frustration trying to find a more cost effective alternative? My advice: kick down the 35 + tax and shipping and get the pro tool.

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One could cut down small diameter PVC pipes and use them as one would a chopstick or bamboo quarter as a prop. I’ve done with great success and it doesn’t decompose. It will get brittle after some time 4-5 years, but I’ve never need them for longer than 2 maybe 3 growing seasons.

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Look online for full size bambo. Split it yourself


I know this is a comercial place but I am sure you can locate them elsewhere. I bought a big pole here in Spain amd make my own. I’ll never run out.

The problem is that I don’t know how much I’m actually getting. The listing says that it’ll make 12-15 chopsticks. That sounds like you really don’t get that much for the $50 ($35 plus $15 shipping) it costs.
I’m not looking for cheap alternatives. I am looking for viable alternatives. Even if it’s the same basic product at a better value. Although I will admit that finding alternatives is something I get some fun out of. Mainly from the tinkering process of seeing if I can take something meant for one purpose and use it for another.

I’ve actually looked around for bamboo rounds and haven’t had too much luck. Didn’t try too hard (my search really was limited to Amazon), but I have to believe that there’s better value out there. Based on the link that @Nicknjh23 sent it looks like there is. Thanks Nick!

Let’s be real though. It’s a stick. I have to believe that ppl have found other ways to prop things up without buying through Mirai. I mean, what did ppl do when Mirai didn’t have them in stock?

I feel like the bamboo rounds from Mirai would be overkill for props. They’d be great for hefty sized chopsticks, but seems like a waste for props.

You can use wood blocks, though they will deteriorate faster than bamboo does in soil.

I used to use rounds like you show in your original post. They come as stakes for lots of nursery trees, and I’d chop them up and use them. They are no good for chopsticks, but I found myself using them for props and ties for a while. I think they worked okay, but I didn’t have any big trees. I don’t really use them anymore, but that’s cause I was able to source some better bamboo.

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I’m gonna be visiting Magnolia Plantation soon which is surrounded by a bamboo forest. I may ask them if I can cut one down and dry it. That would be a multiple year supply for me.

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I have found plenty of bamboo ‘kitchen utensil’ vases at secondhand stores and yard sales. Perfect size and density. Have a 10 year supply of chopsticks and props.
Bentley`s small bamboo sticks work for small trees and some limb wiring / directing framework.
Ryan used a sawed off 2×6" when potting up my very large yamadori ponderosa… it need the secure base, no roots on one side.
Roots filled for support in 3 years. Removed last year.
I would NOT be tempted to use pre-treated wood for props.
Arsenic, antimony and copper, etc. Mostly poisons.Will slow tree down, kill fungi and bacteria. Also, I use redwood and ceader for boxes…


Bought a bamboo folding chair at a garage sale and stripped all the bamboo from legs and back and seat. Lots of nail removal gives me a variety of lengths and diameters. Also went to Fleet Farm and bought a 6 foot 6 inch diameter pole in their lumber department. I cut it into one foot sections and have enough chops and braces to last for years. Just a lucky coincidence! Have never seen the poles on their websites. Worth going to check if your local Fleet Farm may have some in stock.
Learn lots, share with others, have fun. :thinking:

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I bought crap bamboo like you listed in the original question and it’s absolute garbage. It splits, breaks, is thin, doesn’t hold. I was so frustrated. I then got the Mirai rounds. Mirai has quality bamboo rounds for a reason - they are an essential tool and work great for both chopsticks and props.


Another source for 6 foot section. Small diameter, so the chops will not be as flat as a larger piece.

Larger is better…size does matter in bonsai!! :smiley:

Cutting the bamboo at each segment will give you the bulge on the handle end that can be customized to your hand or the different uses. Only way to learn what works for you is to make a variety if different sizes and lengths and try them out for repotting or for maintenance work and props.

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Lol, that’s good to know. I was only going to use them for props. I’m not doubting the quality of the Mirai rounds. Just don’t see how it’s sane to use them as props. :confused:

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Oh man, thanks! Worth a shot at that price. :man_shrugging:t5:

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ha ha… my bad… is only 5ft long… 60 inches equals 5 feet… :crazy_face:

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I didn’t make these for props, but you may be able to do something with it. I eat a lot of Chinese, Thai, and Japanese food, and I always hang onto my chopsticks. I have so many I started taping groups together. A group of three is the most useful, but I made one with seven, then had to go for 19 just for the challenge. I stick to triangle or hexagonal based shapes because they have a stable geometric cross section so that once the tape is on there they do not tend to move around.


If you are only looking to make props, why not just buy 3/4" oak shelving board from a lumber yard or home improvement store?
Oak is a hard dense wood that would last out in the elements for a few years.