A Bonsai is a tree that, in addition to growing and living on a tray, is being worked throughout the year to maintain a defined style and shape. For this, the bonsaist or his caretaker has to prune it from time to time, since otherwise the roots, especially the pivoting one, will literally pull it out of the container. Most people don’t know when to prune bonsai.
The plant has the roots it needs, no more, no less. The more branches you have, the more you will need, so your root system will be larger. Therefore, it is very important to keep its growth controlled. Therefore, in this article we are going to tell you when to prune a bonsai and what aspects you should take into account so that it has optimal growth.
Aspects to consider
Before knowing the techniques and when to prune a bonsai we must review some concepts about basic growth of this type of trees. In this way, we can understand much better how to prune a bonsai. Most trees have a natural tendency to concentrate most of the growth on the top and outer edges of the plant . In this way, this growth pattern is called apical dominance. It is a natural mechanism that encourages trees to grow taller and taller to avoid being shaded by other trees that are larger.
It is a kind of natural competition for a very valuable resource such as sunlight. Due to vital growth dominance, trees have accentuated growth at the top and outer edges of the branches . On the other hand, we have the somewhat lower growth of the branches inside the tree and the lower ones that eventually die.
Then we find a clear difference between the growth of the apical zone of the tree and a smaller part of the inner zone. These two effects are undesirable for the maintenance of bonsai trees since the design and training must be taken into account when having them. This is when the question of when to prune bonsai comes in. We must know that pruning is an important part of the overall design . This is done by pruning a little more thoroughly the upper and outer portions of a tree. Thanks to this, it is possible that the indoor area can grow a little more.
When to prune a bonsai: types of pruning
There are several types of pruning for a bonsai and depending on the type of pruning it is carried out in one part of the year or another. We are going to see what are the main prunings that exist for bonsai .
Maintenance pruning or pinching
Pinching of a bonsai is essential to maintain the shape of the tree as base comes with a style defined or pre-defined. To do this clamping, we only have to make cuts in the part of the longest longitudinal growths of those branches that have left the complete profile of the foliage. You can use sharp scissors. Do not be afraid of pinching the bonsai since it is important in its maintenance. Especially it is necessary to attack the outer parts of the branches for what was mentioned at the beginning of the article. The upper part of the tree is the one that grows the most due to a natural tendency. Therefore, do not be afraid to clamp these parts.
In this way, the tree can be stimulated to distribute all its force, obtaining a more uniform growth over time. This is how the bonsai is made to develop dense foliage. Contrary to what happens with deciduous trees, pines and conifers are often pinched with the fingers of the hands . Although scissors can be used, they should not be used to prune bonsai as if it were a hedge. The leaves should not be cut, otherwise the cuts will turn brown. To achieve this, the tips of the shoots must be grasped with the index finger and thumb and carefully plucked at the weakest point. Thanks to this, the brown coloration does not usually appear.
When is made? Throughout the whole year . Scissors can be used, but in the case of conifers it is better to do it with your fingers since we only have to remove the newest shoots. With this we managed to stylize the tree and maintain the basic design. In addition, we achieve that the tree can have better health and does not become congested with the excessive growth of the leaves.
Shaping or training pruning
The objective of this pruning is to shape the future Bonsai . It is the most difficult, since it is necessary to decide well which branches are necessary and which ones must be eliminated. When in doubt, you have to observe the plant, look at its trunk, the movement it has, if it grows more vertically or if, on the contrary, it seems that its branches want to touch the ground.
Formation pruning should be done in late fall to early spring , keeping in mind a few things so that the job is excellent:
- Those branches that grow forward must be removed, especially those that hide the trunk.
- If there are two branches that grow to about the same height, one must be removed.
- Those branches that have grown excessively must be trimmed.
- Branches that give unnatural turns must be eliminated.
I hope that with this information you can learn more about when to prune bonsai and what are the main techniques to do it.