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Winter and Tree Dormancy

Tree Dormancy causes a lot of worry for many newcomers to bonsai.  It can be scary to start seeing your tree start to have yellow leaves or even drop them altogether. Luckily this is very normal and a necessary part of your tree’s cycle.  Every tree will go into a dormant period during the cold season.  This applies to deciduous, tropical, and even evergreen trees. During this time, every aspect of your...

3 Essential Tools for your First Bonsai Tree

So you’ve just received a new bonsai tree for the holidays or picked one up for yourself.  You’re probably asking yourself now what. Aside from watering your tree regularly, you’ll need to learn how to maintain your tree, including pruning and shaping it.  In order to so, having the right tools is essential. The most basic tool you will need is a good shear.  This shear should feel good in your...

Heavy Bends with Guy Wire

The guy wire technique is used both in landscape trees and bonsai trees. You’ll often see trees that have branches with wire attached to them anchoring them downward. The wire is used to put pressure on a branch and hold it in position until it sets. This is an extremely useful technique.  There is a branch size limit to which a heavy wire gauge can bend. Also, having too much wire on a branch is not...

Heavy Branch Bending with Raffia

For most of us, we always wish that a branch could be moved lower. However, we’re often limited by our technique or fear of breaking a branch while bringing the branch down.  More often than not, the branch is only brought down slightly and not to the desired location.  Fortunately, raffia is a great tool to use when doing heavy bends.  Not only does it protect the cambium during the bend but it also helps...

Clip and Grow Method: Developing a Pad Layer

The clip and grow method is a great way to familiarize yourself with the growth patterns of your tree.  For beginners, it’s also a great method to train your tree without needing to apply wire to your tree. Pad Development (Ramification): The objective of training your tree is to develop different layers of growth, or a pad layer.  By doing so, instead of having a single branch, you’ll have multiple...

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