The main techniques for shaping a bonsai are pruning, pinching, and wiring. Bonsai wiring is a technique used to correct the position and inclination of the branches and trunk of the bonsai.
Why wire a Bonsai?
- Correct the position of branches without having to prune them
- Streamline modeling and give bonsai movement
- Correct trunk defects
- Stimulate the sprouting of lateral buds
There are two main types, aluminum wires, and copper wires.
Aluminum wires are very malleable and do not lose their flexibility with exposure to the elements and with time. These wires can be silver, black, or anodized aluminum (copper-colored, so it’s less visible).
Anodized aluminum wire is the most widely used today. The aluminum wires are suitable for wiring most bonsai.
The wire is used mainly for coniferous bonsai. It is a very malleable wire, but it tends to become rigid and flexible once bent.
How do you choose the thickness of the wire?
The standard recommendation suggests that the wire should be 1/3 of the thickness of the branch we want to work with. However, we must also consider the type of wood, its hardness, and its natural malleability.
When to wire a bonsai?
Generally, the best time to wire is from October-November (beginning of vegetative rest) until March-April (appearance of the new sprouting).
The secrets of the wiring
The perfect wiring should not leave scars in the bark of the bonsai, it should give shapes, but without “strangling” the branches, and of course, it should allow the plant’s growth.
Does it seem complicated? Well, do not panic. We will tell you all the secrets to making the perfect wiring.
One trick to help wire the trunk or main branches is to anchor the wire. Then, the wire is firmly anchored in the pot, and the trunk or branch begins to be wired from its base.
It is recommended that the angle of the wire concerning the branch is 45º so that the wire will have more strength. In addition, the more perpendicular to the unit (90º) the wire is, the less tensile force it will have on the wire.
The wire is wound around the branches with slight pressure so as not to mark the wood. A tip to prevent the wire from leaving scars on the bonsai is to leave a small space between the wire and the branch. The area should be the equivalent of the thickness of a sheet of paper.
With the right tools, wiring can be done more precisely and easily.