Pruning is very essential for proper growth and development of a bonsai tree. In fact, not only does the process encourage new growth, but also helps a bonsai maintain the right shape. However, before your start pruning, it is very necessary to gather information on the best time for the process, depending on the type of bonsai tree you have. Talking in general terms, the new growth in a bonsai tree is best pruned in the growing season, while mid-autumn is the time suited for pruning of hard wood (old season growth). In order to know more about how to prune a bonsai tree, go through the following lines.
Pruning Bonsai Trees
Pruning with your fingers, give a proper shape to your conifer bonsai. For the purpose, you need to pinch off new growth. Hold the new growth with your forefinger and thumb and pluck it out, using your other hand to keep the branch out of the way. Finger pruning will help you avoid the brown growth that is the telltale sign of pruning with scissors. At the same time, it would help impart a much more natural look to the tree. This type of pruning suits evergreen coniferous bonsai trees the most.
You can also make use of scissors for pruning your bonsai tree. The process is best suited for deciduous trees, such as maples and the Chinese elm. If, and when, the growth of the tree looks too much to you and it is the pruning season as well, trim the shoots back to just after the next series of leaves. However, make sure that you do not end up cutting the foliage as well.
Another popular form of pruning that is used for bonsai trees is leaf pruning. Undertaken at the time the first set of leaves has matured, it involves cutting the leaves from the point where they attach themselves to the stem. In others words, using leaf pruners or shears, you need to cut at the base of the blade of the leaf. You may remove all the leaves of the tree, leaves from select branches only or prune the leaves individually (the ones with long petioles). This method of pruning can be used for both tropical and deciduous plants.
- In case of deciduous trees, like maple, about 60 to 80 percent of the larger leaves are pruned around mid-summer. This helps the tree get smaller leaves and remain full of color in autumn.
- After pruning a bonsai tree, give it proper care and attention, over a substantial period of time, to help it recover well.
- While pruning a bonsai tree, make sure to leave extra branches on the weak areas of the trunk. This will help promote growth in that area.