EDIT: 2017/09/09 In the end I trimmed pretty aggressively and I don't think any support will be necessary. The walkway is no longer obstructed. I hope I wasn't too aggressive. Thanks to both Bamboo and olantigh for the advice!
How can I tie a tree without harming it?
I have a juniper/cedar tree with several trunks/branches that are diverging now that the tree has gotten taller and heavier. The result is it sprawls out a lot, taking up space, especially when laden with snow.
I'd like to tie the main branches more tightly together to reduce the sprawl and give support. However, I've read that using rope can choke the tree and cut its "circulation." I suppose any answer will require spreading the force over an area, but what material and method should be used?
Pictures available at: http://imgur.com/a/kjoLN