One of the most basic but intimidating tasks for the beginner bonsai hobbiest is the process of trimming a Bonsai Tree. Many are fearful or removing the wrong branch, or taking off too much of the growth. In this video I go over step by step what to remove from you r tree so that you can keep it healthy, and looking great.
Even though my bonsai collection has been greatly reduced over the past few years, I still find it challenging to keep up with it. At times I am actually overwhelmed with the wiring, pruning, repoting, etc that goes along with bonsai. However I find no greater satisfaction then when I maintain a tree and get it back under control.
Take this tree for example. I worked very hard to reduce the branches a couple of years ago, however I wanted to give the tree a chance to recover healthwise so I’ve let it grow out. Problem is now the branches are leggy and too long for the trunk. I’m thankful it’s a ficus nerafolia.
Trimmed up Ficus
All it takes to regain control of these trees is to cut the branches back, way back. These trees will break back beyond the green. This means that when you cut a branch back you don’t need to leave any leaves. There are trees such as junipers, Brazilian raintrees, boxwoods in which the branch will die if all the leaves are removed. In the case of the Ficus Nerafolia you don’t have to worry.
I thought it about time to update this tree. As you can see the interior leaves have dried out and fallen away. Every year this tree does the exact thing. However it is not a problem because this tree buds back very well. In fact in the next picture you will see a lot of new buds popping out already. July 2005