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Bonsai Bending: Popular Techniques With Tips

Do you want your bonsai tree arching to one side? You can get it by bending the tree.

Generally, bonsai bending is the practice of turning the trunk and branches of the bonsai tree in the desired position. There are many methods to do it, including wiring, clamping, and guy wires. 

Besides, there are some popular rules for bending the bonsai tree so that it can look harmonious and visually balanced in shape and structure. 

If you are new and want to start this practice, do not hesitate. This article can guide you with the best tips and techniques. 

What is Bonsai Bending?

Bonsai bending is the task of shaping the branches and trunks of a bonsai tree by curving them by force or in a gentle way. You can do it by several techniques such as wiring, clamping, and guy wires.

bonsai in pot
The bonsai tree should be taken care of gently when bending.

Wiring: In this technique, you need to wrap thin aluminum or copper wire around the branches and trunk of the bonsai tree and gently force to bend it into the desired shape. 

Once bent, keep it for a few weeks until you see a branch growing into a new shape. 

Clamping: It involves a method in which you need to use a clamp to hold the bonsai branch in the desired place for a period of time. Keep in mind to use thicker branches or trunks. 

Guy wires: In this technique, you can attach guy wires to the tree and anchor them to the ground or the pot. This helps provide support for branches and prevent them from getting back into their original or stiff position. 

When Should I Start Bending My Bonsai Tree?

If you notice, bonsai bending is a delicate art for gardeners requiring patience and skill. You need to ensure the bonsai tree remains undamaged by bending the branches slowly and carefully. 

Thus, bending timing is key. You need to bend the bonsai when the tree is actively growing.

The bonsai tree must be 3 years or older when the plant is flexible enough with minimal risk. If the tree is mature enough for over 50 years, consider small adjustments when bending.

Here are some ideas regarding the bending based on species. 

Deciduous Trees: Consider writing the trees in late winter when leaves are absent. However, if there are faster-growing deciduous trees, earlier writing in late spring or early summer helps avoid the wire marks. 

Conifers: You can wire the trees any time of the year but considering spring and summer is wise. This time, sap flows and branches are more flexible. 

What is the Golden Rule in Bonsai?

Nature also has a golden ratio, which is rated to a Fibonacci series of numbers. However, there is no exact golden rule to establish in bonsai; it depends on the priority of schools of thought and individual artists. 

What is the Rule of 3 in Bonsai Tree?

In this rule, you need to place the first major branch on the trunk around one-third of the tree’s height. Then, keep the subsequent branches at one-third intervals, maintaining the length of the trunk.

bonsai bending
Bonsai needs to be healthy for bending.

This helps create a visually balanced and harmonious branch structure.

What is the One to Six Rule of Bonsai?

According to this rule, the bonsai must be around around six times the diameter of its trunk at the base. It helps get harmonious proportions and a visually balanced structure.

From Editorial Team

Keep the Notes!

Always prioritize the health of your bonsai tree overreaching the desired shape. Also, make sure the tree branch has good balance and proportion.

Besides, consider the movement and flow of the branches and trunk when bending.