About L.E. Cooke Co Supply Department

The L.E. Cooke Supply Department is dedicated to providing the nursery and agricultural growers with the finest tying tapes and tying productivity tools in the world. This department is part of the L.E. Cooke Co wholesale nursery and greenhouse growing operation.

The Supply Department is primarily known throughout the nursery/agriculture industry for its Miracle Garden Tie and associated tying and flagging tapes and as the importer of the MAX Tapener® productivity tools and tapes for North America.

Miracle Garden Tie History

Photo of different types of tying and flagging tapes

Prior to 1958, “plastic tree tie” did not exist. Individuals or nurseries who wanted to tie up their trees, shrubs or flowers used string or other non-stretch products like raffia which had to be cut and re-tied over and over to prevent “girdling” of the tree or plant. There had to be a better, less costly way which was kinder on the plant.

The L.E. Cooke Co, a wholesale grower of quality (i.e. straight) trees, wanted a resolution to this problem. In 1958, Mr. L.E. (“Ted”) Cooke and Robert Ludekens (Son-in-law) approached the rapidly emerging plastics industry for a solution. Many different sample sheets of plastic were hand slit with razor blades until one with the right stretch and strength was decided upon. Monsanto Chemicals provided much of the early expertise for the vinyl formulation used in this newly named “Miracle Garden Tie”.  So you can thank the L.E. Cooke Co for the invention of the stretch tying products that the world uses everyday.

At first, we only used the tying tape internally for the nursery. Soon the word got out about this new “Miraculous product” and many nurseries asked if they could buy it. Although it might sound a little silly today, “Miracle Garden Tie” was truly a new wonder at the time and continues to carry that name today. There was surprising demand for this new Miracle Garden Tie among growers and retail nurseries alike. The initial direct marketing efforts developed tremendous name brand recognition for Miracle Garden Tie which has withstood the tests of time and competition.

A Los Angeles area manufacturer provided the slitting in the early years before the volume became too great to handle. In the mid ’60s the first of two modern slitting machines was purchased by the L.E. Cooke Co and since then, all slitting has been performed internally.  This gave greater control over both quality and customer service.

The L.E. Cooke Co has continually made minor refinements to the Miracle Garden Tie formula.  As a result, it continues to lead the industry in strength, stretch and resilience. It is truly a tie that stretches and holds as your trees, plants or vines grow.

The L.E. Cooke Co had developed into a leader in the bareroot nursery industry. The Supply Department has functioned as a semi-autonomous and very important division. Both supported each other. Our field or greenhouse production workers are the first to use new plastic formulations in order to obtain their professional opinions. We also let them try the competitors’ brands for expert evaluation. Their honest feedback keeps Miracle Garden Tie as the leader.

MAX Company Relationship

MAX HT-R45L Tapener

How did L.E. Cooke Co, a wholesale bareroot nursery, become the Importer of MAX Tapeners® for North America?
Glad you asked!

First came Miracle Garden Tie – mentioned above.

“There has to be a better way”! Always looking to improve, Bob Ludekens saw that hand tying was still a laborious and costly task. How can it be sped up? During the late 60’s he began working with a venture design firm from Fresno to create a battery operated tape sealing machine (wore battery on worker’s back like present day electric pruning shears). Late in the prototype stage, Bob met the MAX Company which had already developed a hand operated tape stapler or “Tapener”. Wonderful! But their handle only held small rolls, not the larger rolls that we created and standardized for the United States. So a business agreement was made in 1971 where the L.E. Cooke Co would import the MAX Tapeners®, but we had larger handles made in Delano to hold our larger MGT rolls. Eventually MAX agreed to make and supply the larger handled tools and L.E. Cooke became the exclusive importer of the MAX Tapeners® for North America.

L.E. Cooke Supply Company continues to supply both the high quality MAX Tapeners®, staples and tape products and our self-manufactured Miracle Garden Tie and Flagging Tapes through regional Distributors across the U.S. and Canada.

MAX – L.E. Cooke History Handout page

DISTRIBUTORS PLEASE NOTE: For many years now, Miracle Garden Tie sales have been directed through distributors. Even so, the L.E. Cooke tree and Supply department sales staff call on retail and wholesale nurseries to promote Miracle Garden Tie and MAX Tapener products. This acts as an extension of the distributor’s sales force. We always point those end users to their local or preferred distributor.

The L.E. Cooke Co. is committed to selling through distribution and works diligently to protect that special relationship. That is why there are no prices on this website and no way to order direct from this website .

Link to: L.E. Cooke Nursery History