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How to Prune Bonsai – Ultimate Guide

How to prune bonsai, is an excellent idea, since this procedure should not be done lightly, it is important to take into account that bonsais have the particularity of being controlled in size by pruning their roots. However, it is essential the time or season in which it is done, they enter a resting stage to fortify and beautify permanently.

How to Prune Bonsai: Which Method to Follow and Which Tools You Need

The attention that we give to the bonsai is a primordial part that is convenient to give to these precious trees that by their characteristics have awakened passions from times that the man has distinguished as Ancestral, mysterious, and exciting, and which is the reason?  Because they have had a bonsai.

These small trees have captivated lovers of gardening crops, with its charms emit an invitation to discover their delicate secrets, among which are how to prune a ficus bonsai, which is part of a unique work because when performing this function in the bonsai, the goal is not the same as in a conventional tree.

It should be noted that now we cannot list the differences that exist between the two. However, we will comment on the main characteristics of this type of tree, one of which is that they survive in small spaces. A very significant fact is that the name bonsai means “planted in a tray”.

We already know that it refers to a tray or container that is used to highlight the beauty made in miniature, many of them are made in Japan, not only serve to plant the bonsai trees, but they are used in their reduced space for vegetative development and to maintain the balance of this small tree.

It is important to emphasize that pruning bonsai, is a task that should be carried out with previous knowledge, never lightly. Based on this respect we have proposed to explain in depth how and when to prune bonsai in an easy way, and to point out the tools that are used to eliminate branches in the appropriate season.

Part 1: Bonsai Maintenance Pruning

The most commonly used technique to facilitate the conservation of the bonsai’s shape is known as maintenance pruning, which consists of maintaining and stylizing the shape of the tree. Likewise, this art is identified with the distinctive of pinching, which can be done with the fingers or a metallic clamp.

Some important data, which are mentioned about the bonsais that are bought in stores already come with a determined form this allows that the pruning function is only for maintenance. It is worth mentioning that the main particularity is that it is considered as an artificial pruning, used to eliminate leaves and branches in bad condition, at any time of the year.

When do I prune a Bonsai?

Bonsai experts believe that pruning or maintenance pruning by concentration is suggested to be done during the growing season, as this is when it has the best results.

pruning bonsai

When Should I Pinch my Bonsai

The method of pinching is extremely easy to do, just cut the longitudinal growths (elongated) of the branches that with their appearance have distorted the profile of the foliage. To start the procedure, use sharp scissors. Do not be afraid to pinch your bonsai, it is necessary to do it especially in the outer areas of the branches and the upper part of the tree.

Once started, a process of stimulation begins in the tree where its momentum will be distributed to obtain a more uniform growth while developing dense foliage.

On the other hand, the means of pinching used in deciduous trees, conifers, and pines is done with the fingers of the hand. Of course, scissors can be used. Although for the pruning of these bonsai, you can not do the same as it is done in a hedge, because the leaves should not be cut, otherwise the incisions will turn brown.

If you want to prevent this from happening, you should grasp the tips of each shoot between your thumb and forefinger and proceed to carefully pull them out from where you get the best grip, so that the browning of the leaves and shoots does not occur. In case you prefer to use the scissors, prune carefully in the area where you would pull out the stem.

In the same order of ideas, we present you with the defoliation technique, which consists of the elimination of leaves in the summer season. This method is used to rebalance the growth forces of the tree and to obtain branching and dense foliage. Defoliation is used to stimulate the development of the weakest areas.

The technique is applied primarily to deciduous trees, but can also be used on evergreen trees (ficus). It should be mentioned that the technique is not recommended for use on weak trees.

Maintenance Bonsai Pruning Tools

It is usual in gardening work to use certain tools to facilitate maintenance today we will show you how to prune bonsai with these tools.

A clipper scissors for use in bonsai pruning.

Also, you can use other very useful tools, but the main one for pruning is the pruning shears with which you can prune your bonsai properly. In our online store, you will find a range of pruning shears.

how to prune bonsai tools
Remember to always disinfect the tools to prune your plants.

Part 2: Structural Pruning of Bonsai Trees

Normally in young bonsais the process of practicing regular pruning is quite common, as we have mentioned these when they are bought bring a model in their shape and style with which it is often customary to model, in other words, to give the tree its basic shape, this directly concerns the pruning of the long and large branches.

In some cases, it is a little difficult for the branches to consent to be kept in this particular are removed by the irreversible action shown by the branches. Remember that you are looking for how the tree will look in the future. If it seems that it is a drastic and quite delicate pruning, but it is usually done in all young ficus bonsai, which need to be shaped.

Usually, this pruning is done at the beginning of spring, or the beginning of autumn, however, it is important to note that if you decide to prune at the end of winter, you will have to repeat the same procedure at the end of summer, since you have to keep in mind that the bonsai tree grows in the sunny months.

One event you will encounter is having to choose which branches to remove, for this decision it is advisable to take some time to observe the plant and identify how it is growing. Regularly, if the branches tend to grow vertically, or if they tend to droop or grow horizontally, you will decide where to prune.

pruning bonsai at home

About Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan is an agronomist horticulture founder of The Garden Style Company and The Garden Style Website. He previously worked for Mondelēz International as an Agronomist Engineer specializing in agricultural products management in highly populated areas. In 2000, Henry started working with farmer-producers in agricultural businesses selling wholesale fresh produce and retail plants in Van Buren, Arkansas. Nowadays, Henry lives in California, where he offers expert consulting services for organic vegetable gardening. As a science writer working with his wife, Julia, Henry shares his passion for gardening and farming, trying to reach and teach as many folks as possible.

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