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How to restore style to your bonsai?


This small tree must be maintained meticulously and regularly to maintain its harmonious shape. Above all, you have to know when and how to prune it.

Each form of


has its own name.

We often find the styles "hokkan" (straight trunk) and "moyogi" (curved trunk).

While their silhouette is already established when released for sale, some trees require refreshing once purchased.

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Stores usually do not have the time to maintain them thoroughly.

However, all require

regular trimming in

order to maintain the shape of their foliage and to rid their trunk of shoots.

It is advisable to inquire about the period of the size of structure.

It is carried out:

  • from

    November to April


    deciduous trees

    , which lose their leaves every year,

  • from

    November to March




  • from

    May to August

    for the



Observe the tree before pruning it

We chose a boxwood, an indoor bonsai.

Its small leaves make it a good subject for the art of bonsai, but make its size delicate.

Place it at eye level, and rotate it 360 °.

Visualize the final shape you want to obtain and identify the branches not to be cut, which contribute to the density of its foliage (photo A).

How to restore style to your bonsai?

The Individual PRACTICAL LIFE - December 2021 • N ° 484

Start by roughing

The pruning of a bonsai is performed with the appropriate tools.

A chisel with large rings in the shape of loops is essential.

The most common is the palm chisel, more versatile than the long or intermediate chisel.

Its thick blades allow the pruning of shoots as well as that of thick branches and roots during repotting.

Using a palm chisel, start by roughing the trunk by cutting the branches along the bole and the shoots called gourmands (photo B).

Read alsoInitiatory journey to Kinashi, the land of bonsai

Clear the trunk

The purpose of this pruning is to showcase the rough bark of the trunk.

Second essential tool for the

maintenance of a bonsai

, the digging tongs.

It provides a neat trunk when you cut a branch, digging slightly to prevent scarring.

Cut the branch with the palm chisel then use the pliers to remove the base of the branch remaining on the trunk (photo C).

Clear the latter up to the crown (the branches at the top of the bole).

Cut the end of the foliage

Continue by trimming the ends of the branches with the palm chisel (photo D).

To obtain a homogeneous foliage, it is necessary to remove the shoots regularly during the pruning period, as soon as they present two or three pairs of leaves.

The procedure varies depending on the tree species and the desired appearance.

For the "hokidachi" (broom) style of our boxwood, we can form a round.

This maintenance of the foliage makes it possible to densify the branching of the bonsai and to keep its leaves very small.

To note

The size of a bonsai is fast and acquired quickly.

Get your hands on a young tree (between 4 and 6 years old) 15 to 20 cm high depending on the species and style (around € 20).

Choose a species suitable for beginners, such as Chinese elm (outdoor tree), which does not suffer from repeated pruning, even outside the period.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2021-11-29

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