Make your own free website on Tripod.com

BONSAI BASICS
Home | CONTACT ME | ESSENTIAL KNOWLEDGE | SPECIES GUIDE | TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT | BONSAI TECHNIQUES | DISPLAYING YOUR BONSAI | GALLERY
BONSAI TECHNIQUES

On this page I detail the most important basic techniques you will need to style, maintain and keep your Bonsai in good health.

ROOT PRUNING
 
I believe this to be the most important technique. Pruning the roots properly ensures that Bonsai stay small and grow vigorously.This is always done in the early spring before any buds open and preferably after the danger of severe frost has passed. Newly pruned roots do not stand being frozen on even the most hardy tree!
 
First remove your Bonsai from its pot. I cut any retaining wires from the base of the pot first and slide a blunt knife around the inside edge of the pot. Hold the tree by the base of the trunk and carefully lift it out of the pot. The roots should be tightly packed, this means the tree has grown well last year.
 
Gently comb out the roots using a root hook. Work from the centre outwards.
 
Be bold! Cut at least half of the roots off from the outside. Cut any thick roots back and use a wound sealant if necessary.(Birch bleed a lot so this is necessary for this species) You should ensure the base of the roots are flat so the Bonsai sits well in the pot.
 
Spread a layer of compost at least 2.5cm deep in the base of the pot and settle the tree onto it. Thread a length of wire through the roots and out of the pot through the drainage holes and pull down and twist together under the pot. This will hold the tree in place until the new roots grow.
 
Now fill the pot with compost, ensure there are no air pockets by prodding the soil into place with something like a spoon handle or  lolipop stick. Smooth the soil surface, add some moss if you like and the job is done.
 
Water well and keep the Bonsai in a sheltered, frost free place for at least two weeks. I find I need to do this every spring, the only exceptions are my older trees which I now do every other year.
 
 

BRANCH PRUNING
 
This is done to style your Bonsai into the correct shape. It is very much the individuals choice which branches to remove but usually all trees try to produce new branches towards the top.
 
If the branch is to be removed use concave cutters and cut cleanly close to the trunk. After a year the wound will close and not be as visible. To reduce the length of a branch use branch cutting scissors.



Enter supporting content here