Bonsai Wiring Technique

Bonsai Wiring Technique

Proper Bonsai wiring technique is necessary to style your tree.  Wiring is the technique of bending the trunk or branches by using cooper wire to achieve the desired shape of your bonsai tree.  The shape of the trunk is usually established when the plant is young.  Often you cannot achieve the style you are looking for in one wiring so you must do this in stages.  Once you have achieved the basic shape you can continue to style small branches with thin gauge wire.

I have found that using the proper gauge is essential.  Thick wire for the trunk and very large branches that have hardened.  You will be able to style the outer branches with very thin wire.  With young thin branches I like to wrap the whole branch before I bend it to the desired shape.


Bonsai wiring technique
Wiring the branch of a Tiger Bark Ficus

A good rule of thumb to choose the right gauge is to use wire which is about a third of the width of the trunk or branch you are shaping.  Wrap the wire at a forty five degree angle, don’t wrap the wire to tight or to loose.  It is key to try and support the section as much as possible to prevent it from breaking.  Use both hands when you bend the branch or trunk.  Bend the wire and avoid trying to bend the trunk or branch of the tree.

When wiring a whole tree at once it is best to start from the trunk, move to the largest branch, then next largest and so forth.  Avoid wiring over any buds, leaves or twigs.  Cut off the excess wire when you reach the end of the branch.

Always secure a recently re potted bonsai with a wire
from the bottom of the pot anchored in on the drainage holes.