How to Wire Bonsai Trees

Overview

Wiring a bonsai tree is an important part of shaping the tree into a desired growth pattern. Young bonsai trees are wired as a means of training them in the shape that they need to grow. Eventually, when the wire is removed, the trees will naturally grow in the shape in which they have been wired.

Step 1

Select wire that is one-third as thick as the circumference of the branch that you are attempting to bend. The wire should be thick enough to hold the branch in position, but thin enough to manipulate the branch. Measure the branch and cut the wire so that it is one-third longer than the length of the branch.

Step 2

Select the nearest stable point to the branch as an anchor point for your wire. If you are wiring the trunk, select a root. If you are wiring a branch, use the trunk as an anchor point. For a smaller branch, use the connecting large branch as your anchor point.

Step 3

Grasp the wire at the anchor point with your left hand and hold it firmly in place while you wrap the branch with your right hand. Slide your hand down the branch to secure the wire as you progress in your wrapping.

Step 4

Wrap the wire in a 45-degree angle counterclockwise to the direction in which the branch grows. Feed the wire through your thumb and forefinger as you wrap the branch and wind the wire by using a circling motion with your wrist.

Step 5

Make your last turn in the wire at a 90-degree angle to the branch to secure the wire at the tip. '

Step 6

Bend your branches using a slow, gentle motion. Listen for sounds that the tree may be splitting or cracking. If the tree appears to be breaking, stop bending the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Tree for shaping
  • 1 mm thick annealed copper wire
  • 1 ½ mm thick annealed copper wire
  • 1 ½ mm thick annealed copper wire
  • 4 mm thick annealed copper wire
  • Measuring tape
  • Wire cutters

References

  • Bonsai4me.com Website: Wiring Bonsai Basics
  • Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to Gardening; Carroll C. Calkins; 1978
  • The Helpful Gardener.com Website; Bonsai Tree - Shaping Your Bonsai Tree

Who Can Help

  • Growing a Bonsai Tree Website: Bonsai Wiring - How To Wire A Bonsai Tree - Practice
Keywords: Bonsai tree, annealed copper wire, ornamental gardening

About this Author

After 10 years experience in writing, Tracy S. Morris has countless articles and two novels to her credit. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets" and "CatFancy," as well as the "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World," and several websites.