How To Prune Bonsai Trees.

Bonsai trees  need training throughout their lives in order to:

1. Maintain the small size of a naturally large tree

2. Give the plant an appearance of age and maturity

Pruning Tools:
Pruning instruments should always be sharp and clean because blunt tools will leave a ragged stump, which could easily become a doorway for disease and pests. Heavy pruning cuts should be whittled down to a slight hollow in the trunk or branch in order to encourage the formation of a callous. Large cuts should be painted with protective paint.

When pruning a branch, try to make the cut just above a bud that is pointing in the direction you want the branch to grow. If the cut slopes downwards, then the water will run off and the chances of rot will be considerably lessened.
Main branch pruning:
Heavy pruning should be carried out in autumn, winter, or early spring, and is the major way of shaping a bonsai tree. The main priorities are to remove any branche that is too low at the front 1 any branch directly opposite another 2 any that creates a so-called cartwheel effect 3 and any that crosses the front or back to the other side of the tree. 4 Hollow out all stumps with a sharp knife 5.

General Pruning:
Throughout the growing season, cut back shoots of maples 1 zelkovas2 and other broad-leaves to the first or second pair of leaves. Pinch out the tips of juniper shoots 3.
With pines, 4 remove the center "candles" and pinch back the others.

Leaf Cutting:
Do this in early summer on deciduous trees that donot flower or fruit. Use sharp scissors to remove half of each leaf 1 on weak branches or trees, but all but the stalk 2 on
strong wood. In a few weeks the stalk will drop and new small foliage and shoots will grow.
Read also: As living trees, bonsai are susceptible to insect attacks and disease.
Training Your Bonsai Tree.
Often considered the most difficult training technique, wiring is used to bend the trunk and branches of a tree into the shape you would like your bonsai to take. Beginners can learn to judge tension in different sized branches, and the various ways of securing wire, by first practicing on a small branch from an ordinary tree or shrub. Never rush. Deciding the shape your tree will take is a lifetime decision, so be sure to examine all angles and possibilities.

Copper wire, though expensive, is most suitable for wiring a bonsai-to-be such as the juniper above, because it remains soft. Galvanized iron or plastic coated wire may be used, but they tend to look rather ugly and detract from your tree. Remember, the larger coniferous trees will be wearing their wires for 12 - 18 months, so please take care in choosing the best "look" for your bonsai.

The same juniper, after wiring.

How To Begin:
If you study very carefully the way trees grow in nature, it is possible to design a realistic looking bonsai without knowing the names of styles, etc. The most important part is always remember that you are working with a living plant. Look carefully at its natural characteristics and you may discern within them a suitable style, or styles.

Once a certain "shape" begins to reveal itself, you will find that gentle bending of a branch before wiring will increase its

flexibility and give you an idea of the correct strength of wire. What you are looking for is a wire that will give you a tension slightly more than the tension of the branch.
Tender-barked trees, such as maples, should be trained with paper-wrapped wire to protect the bark.
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2 commenti :

  1. Replies
    1. I'm see recommendations sometimes for classic bonsai books like Peter Adams book on maples, or Bonsai Masterclass by Peter Chan, but then someone references something written in these books and others will point out that that specific information is outdated.

      That got me wondering what has changed about the art of bonsai in the last 20-30 years? I know it's a very difficult question to answer but any information would be interesting to here, specific examples or broad generalisations alike.

      Soil, feeding, bonsai techniques, life/grow cycles, new styles, new species being introduced etc.