Pruning Bonsai Trees for Beginners

There is nothing lovelier than a Bonsai tree gracing a table in a home, but that plant will only be as attractive and healthy as the regular pruning it gets. The right time to prune a Bonsai will depend on the type of tree you have. The best place to find this specific information is at a nursery that specializes in Bonsai trees or a Bonsai expert in your community. In addition to knowing when to prune your plant, recovery time is another essential part of successful Bonsai pruning. This can also depend on your plant; some trees will recover quite easily from cutting while others will have a more difficult recovery time.

Pruning Above and Below

Bonsai trees are not just maintained above the soil. Sometimes the roots will need to be addressed in the pruning process as well. Bonsais do best if there is an even balance of growth both above and below the soil line. This means that if you cut your tree branches back significantly, you may need to do some pruning on the roots as well.

By the same token; if you don’t end up with much trimming on the trunk and branches, you may want to transplant your Bonsai tree into a larger container to promote root growth. It’s okay to allow the roots to get ahead of the upper branches by a small portion to encourage growth the next season, but balance should be maintained between the two as consistently as possible.

The Purpose of Pruning a Bonsai Tree

There are three reasons to prune your Bonsai tree. One is to take off branches that are detracting from the overall design and line of the shape of your tree. Sometimes you might want to encourage growth in a particular area, and this can be accomplished through pruning as well. Simply prune the area where you want to see growth take place a little less than the rest of the tree. Sometimes pruning is done to encourage fine branching. This type of pruning is generally done by pinching off new growth that doesn’t follow the line of the tree, and is most often used on evergreen Bonsais.

To prune your Bonsai tree, begin by using sharp pruning scissors to take off branches that are crossing other branches or the trunk. It is also a good idea to snip off the branches that are sticking out from the rest of the tree shape. Finally, and branches that are growing straight down should be removed. By following these techniques and reserving your pruning to the appropriate time of the year for your Bonsai tree, you can look forward to many years of beauty from your Bonsai.