Tools Necessary for Bonsai Tree Care

Views: 13811 | Last Update: 2008-07-10
Learn what special tools you'll need to get starting with the ancient Chinese art of bonsai care, in this free video. View Video Transcript

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Mike Hansen

Video Transcript

Let’s talk a little bit about the special tools we use when preparing bonsai. First and foremost tool is our scissors. It looks very much like many other scissors; this of course has a little bit of an Oriental design to it, in the handle. It is very much quite different in its construction from what we would call regular paper scissors, cloth scissors, graph scissors… something that we would have around the house. These scissors are sharpened in a way that these surfaces are flat here. So, if we try to cut something, cut a piece of wood tissue, living tissue, and we would cut through these flat surfaces would crush the living tissue before they cut and it will cause lasting damage to the tree. Whereas these scissors are actually like little knives, they’re sharpened to a sharp edge on each side so when I cut here, it makes a clean cut through the wood. I’ll set that aside. Some of the other tools we use in bonsai, this is the most important one. And, if you have a bonsai tree the very first thing you’re going to want to get is the bonsai scissors because that’s what you will need first. Next, you may need a branch cutter. This is a specially designed tool for removing small branches from trees. You will use this only if you are designing bonsai from shrubs or if your tree is getting older and the branches are getting thicker and you need to remove some of those the scissors will not be able to cut through the larger branch without damaging the scissors. You may have a tree that has wire on the tree. The wire is there to help train the branches in its graceful style. This is a wire cutter that we put in our tool kit. This happens to be a Japanese wire cutter. We have specialized wire pliers for manipulating the wire. There are many different varieties of tools that over time you will probably add to your collection of bonsai tools.