No-one can deny that bonsai is an art, so when you successfully achieve the shape and design you want you will feel a great deal of satisfaction – whether you are a bonsai beginner or an expert.
If you treat your bonzi as any other plant or tree, then they will simply not turn out as they are supposed to. To trim or prune your bonsai is an important part of growing that ‘perfect’ bonzai tree.
The best time to trim any new growth is while the tree is growing, as the new leaves and branches will often stop the tree from retaining the shape you require.
The first step to trimming your bonzi is to ensure you have a good reliable pair of pruners, as these are specially designed to give you a nice clean cut.
There are two methods of trimming your bonsai;
Finger Pruning for a coniferous bonsai, and Leaf Pruning for a deciduous bonsai.
Finger pruning is pinching the new growth that does not support the required shape of your bonzi. This is achieved by holding the host branch of the growth you want to remove with one hand, and pinch the growth between your thumb and forefinger of the other hand to remove. This method of pruning will give a more natural look to the foliage, rather than that obtained by using scissors.
Leaf pruning a bonsai is mostly carried out during the summer. Deciduous bonsai and tropical plants are pruned by cutting around 60% to 85% of their leaves using fine scissors. Always make sure you have enough leaves left on your bonsai to supply the necessary energy.
Pruning a bonsai is an essential step in achieving the shape you want to achieve.