Now any gardeners amongst you know that when growing anything in a pot, there will come a time when the roots of that plant will fill its container. The normal course of events is then to remove the plant,. and repot it into a pot one size larger. So too with bonsai during the development stage, when growth is still required. But what do you do when you have achieved the required size? Well, remove the tree from the pot, remove 1/3rd of the old compost, and look at the roots. Spread them out, and remove any thickening ones. The technique is to create a root mass full of thin feeder roots. This has the effect of making the branches, twigs and leaves much finer, and slows down any coarse vertical branches. Then, trim back lightly the roots that are left, and repot into the cleaned container, filling in with fresh compost. At the same time, remove any unwanted top growth that doesn’t fit in with the design that you want (just like pruning a rose!).
Possibly, it is the wiring that causes the most unease in people. It is seen as binding and constriction, and certainly, when incorrectly applied, this can be the result. You only have to look at some of the commercially produced trees available over Christmas to see the adverse effects that incorrect wiring causes; wire that is biting with the bark because it has been left on too long, or applied too tightly. The process of wiring is exactly the same as the one used to train fruit trees along a wall. Here, wires are stretched horizontally, and the tree’s branches are tied to the wires to produce the fan or cordon shape often used. However, the resulting design is only two-dimensional. To achieve a three-dimensional shape, all you do is reverse the technique, ie, instead of attaching the tree to the wire, attach the wire to the tree! Then, you gently coil the wire around the branches you want to grow in a different direction, and slowly bend the wire, which will then hold the branch in place, until it has set. Not unlike braces on teeth! But, you must remove that wire as soon as it has set, otherwise the tree will grow round the wire, causing the bark to scar.
continued to outdoor trees