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. This pruning method will help in developing a pad layer.
Developing a Pad Layer (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 secondary branches growing from the primary branch. This is called ramification. Ramification is what will make your tree look full but within a small space, the essence of creating a bonsai tree.
What to Cut:
So what should you cut? First, make sure you only cut when the branch has wood. Our earlier blow article reviews this. After that, you can cut branches that are going up. Most often, you will want to keep the branch that are going downward as this will create the age in your tree. Force the tree to grow outwards and flat or down rather than up. Remember, you don’t want to create a topiary, you want to develop a pad layer.
At first, it may not seem like there is too much to cut. When you first get a tree, the primary branches are only trained. The secondary trees are how you make your tree stand out from the rest. You will have to go through a few seasons to start seeing your layer take shape.