If you want to grow your own beautiful Bonsai tree you must first off know how to shape the branches and manipulate the overall structure and height of the tree. In order to manually control the growth of these trees, which are not naturally dwarfed as many people think, you must implement the use of a few essential tools as follows:
- Bonsai Concave cutters
- Traditional Trimming Sheers
- Aluminum Wire and Bonsai Wire Cutters
- A Rake, Tweezers, and a Brush
- Plastic and Ceramic Bonsai Pots
You will be trimming roots as well as branches, which may be difficult to trim at times, so, if in nothing else, you will have to invest your money wisely in your chosen tools. To begin, you will need to purchase concave cutters. These powerful yet delicate pincer-like instruments have long handles – all the better to get into tight spots – so that you can trim off bits of the inner trunk material. Also, concave cutters are useful in trimming off tough branches. Next, you’ll need a pair of traditional trimming sheers. These come in the long and short-handed variety; choose the form that feels more comfortable. In my experience, the short-handed sheer accommodates a larger hand and allows your clenched fist more movement when pruning the tips of Bonsai branches and leaves. These trimmers are one of your most essential tools. Try to invest as much as you can and aim for stainless steel wherever possible (with any of the tools, actually) as this will be longer lasting and retain sharpness even after many uses, as it is very important to have the sharpest tools possible to avoid splitting the wood. Your trimming sheers will guide your tree into the shape that you’ve envisioned; similar to how a haircut is useless without a talented hand and very sharp sheers to shape your locks and give them movement.
Important to the shape of your Bonsai tree is the use of wire. I suggest using copper colored aluminum wire; the copper is easy to track and happens to look great against the tree and the aluminum is very malleable and can withstand being bent out of shape and reworked as necessary. Try to get three sizes of wire: 1.5 mm, 2.0mm, and 2.5mm for increased versatility. With the wire you will need to have a pair of bonsai wire cutters strong enough to cut the copper aluminum wire. Be careful not to purchase standard wire cutter with pointed tips. You will need Bonsai specific wire cutter with a rounded end to avoid damaging the tree in any way while removing wire.
Bonsai tree growing requires a few accessory tools to keep the tree neat. Invest in a nice pair of metal tweezers for pulling away excess root or branch material, a metal rake to clear out dead or unwanted root material and air out the dirt around your tree, and also get a small yet sturdy broom to clear away dirt and keep things neat. To complete the process, collect a few different sized plastic pots to train your tree as it grows. Wait until the tree has been growing steadily before investing in any ceramic or clay pots that will act as more permanent homes for your tree. The pots are all about aesthetics and do not generally affect the life of your tree, so long as you tend to the soil and keep the plant clean and well fed. Always remember to buy pots with a hole at the bottom for aeration purposes.