The most important tool for pruning bonsai tree is of course the bonsai pruners, which should be sharp and clean. If pruning is a new experience for you in pruning a bonsai tree, then get plenty of practice before beginning to work on your bonsai trees. For pruning practice, prune outdoor shrubs or branches collected from the woods. When you are pruning bonsai trees, keep in mind an image of the tree you desire.
To remove a branch, place a pair of concave pruners close against the trunk, and make a sharp, flush cut. Do not tear the branch.
To shorten a branch, make a cut just above the fork of the branch. Whenever it’s possible, make the cut toward the back so the cut will not show. When shortening a branch, you can very often choose the direction of new growth that will occur on the branch. If you want the new growth to follow a line on the left of the branch, prune above the bud on that side.
Pruning above the bud will allow the bud to "break", resulting in new growth where you want it. Always perform your bonsai pruning as close as possible to avoid leaving an unsightly stub, but do not press so close that you injure the bud..
Bonsai tree pruning begins with the process of changing a tree into a bonsai. Bonsai pruning also makes your tree healthier, allowing light to fall on all its parts.
Severe bonsai tree pruning is usually not done in the fall. To survive the winter, bonsai trees store energy and food in their various parts. Do not change that balance by unnecessary bonsai tree pruning. Indoor tropical bonsai, which go through a moderate dormant period, may be pinched and pruned when they send out new growth.