Wire is the most useful tool in the training process. It can be used to lessen the distance between two branches and also to shape the tree’s trunk. To decrease the space between two branches, simply twist the wire around the branches so that they are closer together. This doesn’t cause the tree pain unless scars are visible after the process. Check up on the branches periodically to see if your goal has been reached. Never leave the wire on long enough to leave scars on the bark because they are permanent (Training is an Ongoing Process).
To twist the trunk of a tree, use an appropriate wire thickness. If working with a sapling, it might be best to wait until the trunk is thicker or else the trunk could be snapped in half, obviously resulting in a dead limb. To begin, drive the wooden stick in the soil adjacent to the tree. There should be at least half an inch between the stick and tree. For the next step, bend the trunk into an "S" shape and tie each curve of the "S" to the stick with wire. Make the curves more tightly than wished because when the wire is removed, the tree will bend slightly out of shape. Leave the wire on long enough to get the shape desired but not long enough so there are homely marks on the bark (Training is an Ongoing Process).
In order to lower one branch, use a rock and string. When selecting the rock, contemplate its weight. Do not pick a rock so large that it will break the branch. Tie the string securely to the rock in a square knot and then to the branch.
Size is what distinguishes a regular tree from a bonsai tree. Bonsai trees generally do not exceed 12 inches tall. To keep such a small size, proper repotting is essential.
Repotting is done to replenish the tree’s source of nutrients. It is also done to trim the tree’s root system. Coniferous trees should be repotted every 4 to 5 years while deciduous trees can be repotted every 2 to 3 years. Root systems should be checked in the fall (Care). When repotting, use an entirely different container so parasites are not transferred into the new soil. Carefully pull the tree out of its container and cut about one third of the roots. Pluck chunks of
soil out of the roots with chopsticks. Put the tree in its new container and soil. Now might be the perfect time to fertilize but not if the tree is in bloom (Care).
Caring for a tree is a full-time job but its rewards are plentiful. Planting a bonsai tree in one’s home yields a graceful beauty that nothing else can provide. It truly is satisfying to play the role of Mother Nature.