How To Prune Your Bonsai

How to prune your bonsai tree

  • Prune your bonsai whenever it looks untidy.
  • Use ‘leaf cutters’, scissors designed for cutting leaves – these can normally be used by right and left-handed people.
  • As a general rule wait until there are 6 leaves on a branch and cut back to 2. This will encourage a bushy growth with compact foliage.
  • Do not let leaves grow beneath branches. Any small branches that grow from a main branch in a downward direction should be removed.
  • Trees have a tendency to grow more at the end of main branches and at the top of the tree. To achieve the best looks, try to encourage the same bushy appearance in the whole of the tree.
  • Depending on the type of tree, enthusiasts try to ‘layer’ branches: try to leave spaces between branches, and don’t have two or more main branches growing from the trunk directly opposite each other – stagger the branches.
  • A special note about Azalea Bonsai: try not to prune your tree. If you must then do so immediately after flowering, any later and you risk cutting off the buds which start to form in mid summer and your tree will not flower in the following year.

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