Bonsai world...........

Training of Bonsai


Training a bonsai requires pruning and patience. Although the bonsai always requires regular watering and fertilizing, the training of the bonsai occurs only once or twice throughout the year. The bonsai's training activities should be carefully planned to ensure that the training does not become harmful to the tree.

Bonsai Tree Pruning, Trimming and Pinching  :

 During late spring and throughout the summer bonsai trees can quickly become overgrown, losing their shape and overall structure. The speed at which they grow depends on many factors, such as age, species and also the watering and feeding regime.

To keep the growth balanced and in shape, pruning is necessary and this is without doubt one of the most enjoyable and satisfying aspects of the hobby. Do not be afraid pruning - it is an essential part of the development and maintenance of bonsai, helping to create miniature trees, rather than overgrown bushes. Pruning can be a learning exercise and if a mistake is made, there is a good chance that new growth will rectify the situation!

Important points to bear in mind:

  • trees should be allowed periods of free growth to keep them healthy. There is a close relationship between new shoots and new roots, and so you can be sure that when a tree's shoots are extending, so are the roots. The extent of growth allowed will depend upon the stage of training. A tree in the development stage will benefit greatly from a period of free growth, which will help to thicken up the branches and trunk. For mature bonsai, growth should be kept more balanced and so shoots are scissor trimmed, pruning particularly vigorous shoots harder, before they begin to sap strength from other areas. The result will be shorter inter nodal lengths and more compact growth. However, if a branch is weak, allow all growth to extend to provide it with extra strength
  • the top of the tree is the most vigorous area in most species, with the lowest branches being weaker, (azaleas and kiyohime maples are notable exceptions to this growth pattern). This should always be taken into account when pruning or trimming trees, therefore it is usually necessary to prune harder higher up the tree. If a bonsai is left to grow unchecked, the top will quickly become dominant, with the fine shoots near the apex becoming thick, ugly and out of scale
  • pinching the candles on pine trees once they are fully extended will result in back budding and compact growth. It is worth taking out the dominant central shoot, to allow more strength to be channeled into the weaker side shoots. If the candles are allowed to develop into shoots, the size and strength of the tree will be increased. These shoots should then be cut to the required length in midsummer, or have the end buds removed to encourage denser growth the following year. Removing all the candles in spring as they start to extend will produce new buds both at the tip and further back. Some of these buds will open in the same year, producing compact growth with smaller needles. By using these techniques and also controlling watering and feeding whilst the needles are opening, their length can be considerably reduced. Do not, however, aim for tiny spruce-like needles as these look unnatural and can make the tree weak
  • once a twiggy structure has become established, summer pinching is a useful technique to maintain the tree's shape and to develop greater ramification. For juniper, cypress, spruce, cryptomeria, larch and other similar conifers, hold the foliage in one hand and 'pluck' the new growth. The shoots will be removed cleanly, whereas using scissors would cause more browning at the ends, especially in dry and sunny weather. With deciduous trees, such as maples, zelkovas, elms, beech and similar species, pinch out the growing tip once new shoots begin to unfurl and extend past the first set of leaves
  • deciduous trees usually grow far more rapidly than conifers, with new shoots extending quickly
  • do not prune just to maintain a silhouette. The interior of the tree will quickly begin to die if it does not receive adequate light and ventilation, so this should be considered. Lack of light and air flow can also encourage pests and diseases. Thin out dense areas of foliage to ensure that whole branches remain healthy. Leaf pruning deciduous trees can help considerably, preventing die-back
  • when pruning, if possible, leave the bud at the end of the shoot pointing in the direction in which you require the growth to extend. This practice is known as 'directional pruning' and is a useful technique which reduces the need for wiring
  • if removing large branches, always ensure that the remaining wound is concave, so that it will heal neatly and quickly. Seal with cut paste or similar. An ideal time to remove large branches is during midsummer, after the initial burst of spring energy has subsided. This ensures a smaller callous and less bleeding, although branches can usually be safely removed at most times of the year. For conifers, consider the option of creating a jin
  • pruning deciduous trees in late winter/early spring enables their form to be seen clearly. However, make sure that you are aware of any branches that have died, so that you do not remove a live branch and find that you have unwittingly left a dead one! Trees that have been winter pruned will benefit by being given protection from the elements
  • when removing branches, if unsure whether the branch should be removed completely, prune back hard first. Leave some buds that could grow back if desired, so that your options are left open


Trimming and Pinching:

  • Pinching start first year and Trimming start second years of the bonsai plants.
  • Cut the leaf which side you want to grow a branches.
  • Perfect time for trimming and pinching in rainy season.
  • It is the bad idea for trimming and pinching in summer.
  • Bonsai size depends on trimming and pinching .
  • To make sure trimming and pinching are perfect for healthy tree.
  • After trimming or pinching you have to shower the tree everyday.
  • No need over trimming or pinching for old tree.


  • It is perfect for pruning in growing seasons.
  • Put the fertilizer two weeks before pruning.
  • Cut the cross branches.
  • Branches should display alternately and remove the front side branches.
  • Cut the branches which is display same side same condition and one after one.

 The result of pruning:

  • If you cut the head, then increase the side branches.
  • If you cut the side branches, then increase the height.
  • If you cut all over too much branches, then come out new branches from trunk.
  • If you cut upper leaf, then grow over branches or if you cut lower leaf , then grow lower branches.


Part of Pruning:

 Branch Pruning:

  • After branch pruning keep it on training pot.
  • After hard style ( like cascade ) keep it on training pot.
  • Cut branch with sharp knife and maintain fungi side.



Leaf Pruning:

  • Do not pruning when it keeps on training pot.
  • Leaf able tree is need for growth tree and style.
  • Do not leaf pruning to a weak tree, otherwise it will die.
  • Stop fertilize ring before one month leaf pruning.
  • Keep it sunlight after leaf pruning.
  • Be careful about over watering.
  • Cut right side leaf to grow right side branch. Same processing maintains to grow left side branch.




  • Pinching for control growth in one month.
  • To keep bonsai shapes do pinching.
  • Do pinching with sharp knife.



 Root pruning:

  • To keep the tree healthy, wealthy, please do root pruning.
  • When tree grows yellow weak and branch becomes dry, then do the root pruning.
  • Actually root pruning depends on practice.
  • Cut the root every year to the first growing tree.



Wiring is perhaps the most misunderstood of all the techniques used in bonsai. It drives little old lady's POTTY (sorry mum!) to think of those poor little trees encased in that nasty wire. If they knew that wiring was only used temporarily, to hold the branches in a desired position, to add to the impression of age, and add to the artistic effect, they'd still go POTTY (there's no pleasing some folk!). Wire is only left on as long as it takes for the tree to set in the desired position.

It is pointless, and dangerous to wire an unhealthy tree. The way that wiring works is that, in bending the wood, you stress, and sometimes damage the cells. The tree while repairing the damage grows into the shape imposed on it by the wire. So if you wire a tree that is not in full vigour, it is unable to complete the repair, perhaps losing the branch, or dying in the process.

The Wire is wrapped around the item being shaped (Branch or Trunk), which is then bent into the desired position.


Try to keep the coils reasonably close together, not doing so reduces the strength of the wire.



 It is not advisable to try to alter the angle where the branch meets the trunk, this will almost certainly cause the branch to break off. If you do need to lower the branch, start at a point further out.

If you try to start the bend close to the trunk (a), you may break the branch off. Starting the bend at (b) is much safer, and more natural, as it is only as the branch develops, the weight of the foliage will start to drag the branch downward.


When wiring branches with foliage (both deciduous and coniferous), avoid trapping the foliage under the wire as shown on the left. this will damage the leaves and provide a gateway for infection. The picture on the right shows how it should be done to both coniferous and deciduous foliage. 

Wire obtained from specialist (Bonsai) suppliers is Aluminum, and is available in two types, Plain (Silver), and 'Anodised', where the wire is given a brown coating. Which one you choose is up to you, the anodised is less visually obvious, however the plain is more noticeable when you are watching to see if the wire is biting into a developing branch.

If you do not have access to bonsai wire use any wire that is capable of being bent without to much effort, then removed easily.

Bonsai wire is available in different sizes from 1.5mm to 6mm, and selecting the correct size for the job is not an easy task for most people.

A selection of bonsai wire, both anodised and plain 

To get a feel for the size of wire needed, try bending the wood (branch or trunk), and get some idea of the effort involved, then try and apply the same effort to the wire you wish to use. If there is to much 'give' in the wire the you need a thicker wire or to 'double wrap' it.

If you do not have wire of sufficient strength for the job you wish to do, 'double wrap' the wire, apply two pieces of wire parallel, this should overcome the problem.


If you do not have a strong enough wire for the material you wish to bend, try using two thinner wires wrapped in parallel.


Other methods for lowering branches are:

Tying the branch down, either with string or wire.

this branch has been tied down to a jin with wire, the wire was twisted to tension it.

Hanging weights on a branch will also cause it to hang down. Both of the above methods, while effective will take longer to achieve your aim than wiring will.


 Ageing of Bonsai:

A tree acquires its beauty and character with age. There are bonsai training methods which enable a tree to look older than it is, and at the same time correct any faults in its shape. The Japanese use three different techniques known as Jin, Sharimiki and Sabamiki.



The technique of jinning involves leaving branches of the tree that have broken off or died back naturally. Strip away the bark from the branches and sharpen their ends a little if you wish. Smooth along the entire length of the branch with emery paper before painting with citric acid or furniture bleaching agent which in turn bleaches the branch and protects it from rot.
Jinning can also be used to make a tree that has grown too tall appear shorter. Simply cut off the leaves or needles at the tip of the tree, remove the bark that is exposed, then proceed as described above. All conifers and some broad- leaves are suitable subjects for jinning.


The sharimiki method involves partially stripping bark from branches or trunks, and sometimes even from a particularly prominent, visible root. The bonsai thus gains a more interesting appearance.
Working from the top downwards peel a narrow strip of bark from the front of your bonsai, having previously loosened the strip by making two vertical incisions with a sharp knife. Use emery paper to smooth the wood down, as for jinning, then apply citric acid or a furniture bleach. Do this carefully so that you make sure the bleach only comes into contact with the areas of the tree stripped of bark.


Bonsai that have undergone Sabamiki look very old and impressive. They remind you of trees that have withstood the rig ours of nature for centuries, particularly those found in highland areas and in solitary coastal sites.
Sabamiki means hollow or split trunk, and it is a wood-splitting technique that enables you to copy the shapes of trees found in nature, particularly among old apricot trees, elaeagnus and junipers. Perhaps you have a bonsai with a damaged trunk, in which case take a chisel and hollow it out at the damaged spot, then treat as you would for jinning and Sharimiki.
Some bonsai experts will also rip out a forward-growing branch that is marring a tree, then using a chisel enlarge the hole left in the trunk. They are then able to train the tree in the Sabamiki style.
All these techniques are best carried out in mid-summer when the wounds will dry quickly and the bleaching agent can soak nicely into the trunk. Always use a sharp knife and smooth the wood down with emery paper before applying the bleach.
Reapply the bleaching agent at least every two years to stop rot attacking the stripped branches and to re-emphasize their light color.

Besides these techniques there is another way of making your bonsai appear older. Simply tie the branches of your young tree down, or wire them so that their outline more closely resembles those of older trees in the wild.