How to Use Wires to Train Your Bonsai

Bonsai trees are beautiful and learning how to take care of them is relaxing. Here is how and why to use wires to train your bonsai to grow as you would like it to look.

Bonsai trees are beautiful and relaxing. To spend time nurturing and shaping a tree like this is enriching and rewarding, and that is because it is not a simple thing. It takes time and patience, but to nurture your soul in this way is rewarding because of the skill set gardeners build. One skill that is needed is to train the tree to grow with bonsai training wire. Here is how to use wires to train your bonsai. What do you need, and what do you need to know to train the tree with this technique?

What is wiring?

Wiring with special bonsai training wire is an important technique to learn. Wiring trains the tree to grow as desired so that it looks lovely and stays healthy. Bonsai training wire bends the branches and sets the tree as you like it.

bonsai training wire

What kind of wire?

Bonsai training wire can come in a complete kit that includes wire in different sizes and thicknesses, as well as different shears to cut the tree and the wire. The wire is made of anodized aluminum or annealed copper, and the different bonsai training wires can be sized from 1.0 mm to 3.0 thick. Aluminum wire is best for deciduous species and copper is better for conifer or pine trees because it is harder. However, aluminum is easier for beginners to work with, and easy to obtain.

How to use wires to train the bonsai

Wiring requires the correct bonsai training wire, and a healthy, young tree. It also requires patience and careful attention. Don’t rush and be careful. Your goal is to support the plant and to shape it as you wish it to grow. Be attentive so that it is the wire that bends, not the branch. Wrap the wire at a 45 degree angle. It should circle the trunk, and progress from there to the branches. Wrap the wire evenly to support the branch and guide it. The tree is still growing so keep the wires firm but loose.

Why wire?

Proper wiring is a difficult skill to master, but the results are spectacular. When you have wired the entire tree, you can begin to very carefully reposition the branches. Don’t keep on moving the branches, because you don’t want to damage the tree. Wiring does more than improve appearance, however. Using bonsai training wire helps the plant to develop successfully and it gives it stability as it grows so that it stays healthy.

Once the tree is wired, keep checking on it to be sure that the branches are not growing around the wire. When you are ready to remove the wire, in one to four months, cut it with the scissors at every bend instead of trying to unwind it. This is safer and will not damage the tree.

Bonsai training is a rewarding skill, and one that takes time and patience to learn. Train the tree with bonsai training wire when it is healthy and young. You will be doing more than nurturing a plant, you will be creating beauty for the soul.

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