Bonsais do not just turn out to be the tree that they are supposed to be if you simply treat them like any other plant or tree. To come up with a true masterpiece, you need to do several things.
Part of the elements of proper bonsai cultivation is trimming. It is crucial to trim a bonsai to give it a look like that of any other tree. Trimming should be done when the tree is growing. Since new leaves and branches usually ruin and keep the tree “out of shape”, it then becomes essential to trim a bonsai during this time.
Before you trim a bonsai, make sure that you have a reliable pair of pruners. These are specifically designed to create a nice, clean cut. If you just got your tree from the nursery, you may want to give it its first trimming. First, find the central trunk and remove the growth that covers the front of the tree. The front portion should be the side you wish to display.
Remove the plant from its original container and put the root ball inside a container filled with water. This will help you remove soil a lot easier. After the root ball has been “washed”, it will then fit more comfortably inside its new pot or container. Since most bonsai pots are decoratively shallow, make sure that you remove most of the soil. This can be done if your trim a bonsai at the roots, although it is necessary that you leave two-thirds of its original size. Root trimming is a sensitive time for the bonsai, that is why it is usually done every two or three years and around 10% to 15% of the roots are cut off to create the required space needed for new roots.
A plastic screen should also be used to cover the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot to prevent bugs from getting through and the soil from washing out of the pot. Then, you are about ready to plant your new bonsai tree.
Trimming is part of bonsai grooming. Therefore, to trim a bonsai does not just comply with the tree’s aesthetic requirements, but with its health issues as well.