Shaping Bonsai

Any bonsai enthusiast knows that a major part of the bonsai hobby is about shaping or ‘training’ your trees to make them look mature and in the correct proportions for their size. What makes a good looking-bonsai is very much a question of taste! Many practitioners like to try for an old tree look.

But whatever design we are aiming for, in order to encourage our trees into that design we need to understand the science around tree growth and how trees react to interventions.

Before diving into the specifics, you might want to start with what is a tree?

Bonsai tree growth stages looks at the different stages of developing a bonsai and how a tree’s growth behaviour can be channeled during each stage. A big part of the ongoing task of bonsai is planning and executing a design for the tree, which could involve major or minor shape changes. These can be achieved in different ways by pruning, repositioning, carving & grafting. We’re also aiming to develop well-ramified branches & foliage.

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