Bonsai trees are very delicate. In order to give them the desired shape, various tools are used to make this work and the most common is the bonsai wire.
Most gardening stores offer these in either copper or aluminum. This are either silver or brown, which will blend in with the tree. These also come in various lengths usually between 1.5 to 6 millimeters so the type chosen will depend on the size of the branches.
The hobbyist can probably get a discount by buying it in bulk since this will also be used again later on.
There are those who find this cruel since the hobbyist is playing God in directing the shape of the tree. This technique however has been practiced for hundreds of years and the wire is only used temporarily. The person should think of the wires like braces that will help fix the teeth that will be removed later on.
Will the branches be damaged in the process? In the short term, yes but it is a good thing that bonsai trees are able to heal so the only remnants might be a few scratches from the wire.
Bonsai wiring is a delicate process. The hobbyist should apply a little pressure and only wrap this around the stronger branches or trunk. Another important thing to remember is that this should never be done when it is too close to the trunk or the branch.
This could break the branch and there is no way to fix it. The same thing applies when it is wrapped around the leaves.
Double wrapping is a good idea to make sure the branches stay in place. It is best to always do this in a 45 degree angle and are close to each other since nothing will happen if they are far apart. This will also make it easy for the hobbyist to take it out later on using a pair of pliers.
Tying the wire to the pot isn’t always effective in achieving the desired results. The hobbyist will do a better job after buying clamps from the gardening store.
How long will it take before the wires are removed? This depends on the bonsai tree. If it adjusts to the desired shape in a few weeks, then the person can take it away. The longest is about a year.