When growing bonsai, the key to
success is pruning. In this article, we will discuss how to prune a bonsai tree
so you can have an amazing tree, one that people marvel over! Keep in mind that
different species of trees are suitable for different styles so learning how to
prune a bonsai tree the right way is essential not just to appearance but to the
overall health of the tree. What you will find is that function and form walk a
fine line when it comes to bonsai, requiring a perfect balance of science of
growth and art, something that takes time to learn.
The first step in how to prune a bonsai tree is that you always want to
make sure you are pruning the tree in the appropriate season. Although there are
some types of trees that can be pruned and trained throughout the year, many
trees must be worked with during a specific time. Otherwise, you will find that
you run into all types of problems. Although you can conduct a lot of research
on line, if you are unsure the right time for your particular type of tree,
locate a bonsai specialist or nursery in your area that can provide you with
guidance. Just remember that whatever rule applies to the full-sized tree will
also apply to your miniature tree.
Very importantly on how to prune a bonsai tree, you need to provide your tree
with adequate time to recover after going through a severe pruning. With proper
care and scheduled pruning, your tree will grow and remain healthy for years. In
fact, many bonsai trees have been passed down from generation to generation.
When pruning, you want to focus the majority of your attention on the trunk,
which will add to the illusion of mature size and age, more so than any other
feature on the tree.
Next on how to prune a bonsai tree, be sure you leave extra branches on any weak
area of the trunk to help promote growth in that particular area. Then, any
problem branches should be removed right away. Problem branches would be
considered those that cross each other, growing back sharply toward the trunk or
from the underside of the main branches. The challenge when you experience this
is that you end up with a cluttered or messy appearance that takes away from the
artistic line of the tree.
Another important aspect of how to prune a bonsai tree is that whatever you do
above ground level will also affect what happens to the tree below the ground
and vice versa. In other words, if you prune the branches and leaves heavily
with no cutting back of the root system, then the following season, the bonsai
tree could have an incredible burst of growth as it tries to fix the imbalance.
With bonsai, you can allow the root system to be ahead of the foliage and
branches but no more than 30%. If you find that you need more root growth, you
can move the bonsai tree to a larger container to encourage the roots to spread.
As you can see, how to prune your bonsai tree is not a complicated subject but
it is a necessary one. You have to prune your tree as a means of maintaining the
correct shape of the tree, while encouraging new growth. What you will discover
is that some trees respond naturally and very well to pruning while others have
a hard time recovering. Again, the key is to prune only in the right season for
the type of tree you have. With evergreen coniferous bonsai trees, you can use a
method known as “finger pruning”, which means to pinch back new growth that does
not have the general shape of the bonsai or growth at the top of the tree. This
method will encourage fuller foliage and a better looking bonsai.
When it comes to how to prune a bonsai tree for deciduous, which would
include tree such as the Chinese Elm and Maples, you would use the tip of sharp
scissors for pruning. For this, when you trim outward, you want to trim back the
shoots but just after the next series of leaves. Finally, leaf pruning is used
for both tropical and deciduous plants. This helps reduce the size of the
leaves, get rid of unsightly leaves, and encourage growth by creating two
growing seasons in one. Again, when it comes to how to prune a bonsai, the
process is not difficult as long as you are careful!