How To Wire A Bonsai Tree: An Easy Guide On Bonsai Wiring

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Wiring bonsai trees is considered an art. It takes skill and practice to become proficient at it. As there are several styles of bonsai, like a forest, cascade, slanted, or windswept, the plant wiring will differ in each case. However, if you are looking for a step-by-step guide on how to wire a bonsai tree this article will help you get started.

Wiring a bonsai tree simply means putting wires around the branches of a bonsai plant and bending the branches or the trunk to give it the desired shape.

It works as a technique to make the branch flow in the direction you like. If you want to make your bonsai tree beautiful and elegant, keep reading this article as we will going to discuss how to wire bonsai trees in detail.

Now, If you are new to bonsai you may be thinking…

Why Should I Wire a Bonsai? 

Well, the basic purpose of wiring is to modify the natural arrangement of the branches to grow and to make our very own signature style.

Bonsai wiring is not a matter of cruelty rather It keeps the plant sturdy and provides support (for most of the plants).

Also, there is no particular season or time of the year to do the wiring; it can be done a year long.

How To Wire A Bonsai Tree?

how to wire a bonsai tree
wire the bonsai

Wiring Material For Bonsai:

Most common types of wires are made of copper or aluminum. If you are a beginner, it is advisable to start with the aluminum ones as they are much easier to work with than the copper wires.

Put plastic or some kind of fabric around the trunk and the branches to make sure the wire doesn’t stick into the bark.

In some cases, where the trunk is too thick or fragile for bonding, you need to create a loop in the wire and slowly increase or decrease the pressure as time goes on. This is also called Guy- wiring.


Wiring should not be very close as it will affect the sap flow and not too wide otherwise it will lose its purpose.

Wiring The Bonsai Trunk:

A trunk is the main structure of the plant. To start wiring, you need to choose a wire that is at least 1/3rd times longer than the length of the bonsai trunk.

The width of the wire depends on the trunk’s width and it should be thicker than those that hold the branches. In case the trunk is very thin, use a thinner wire.

Anchor one side of the wire to the soil or at the bottom of the growing pot and then begin to coil the wire at a 45-degree angle around the trunk. Make the curves narrower while you are moving towards the top.

Wiring The Bonsai Branches:

You need to wire this to reduce the tension of the branches and maintain the direction of their growth. 

Wiring The Primary Branches of Bonsai:

While wiring bonsai branches, start working outwards from the trunk and avoid overlapping. Try one piece of wire to bend two bonsai branches that are near to each other (it is also called double wiring).

You can do this to most of the primary branches. For the rest of the branches, use separate wires. 

Wiring The Secondary Branches of Bonsai:

Start wiring the secondary branches only after finishing the primary ones. The procedure will be the same. Secure the wire by coiling it around a primary or a secondary branch of the bonsai tree.

Words of Caution:

Leave the top portion of the plants a little loose. These are the portion with soft growth.

How Long You Need To Keep The Wire To The Bonsai?

The bonsai wiring is done for the purpose of styling and it is certainly not very good aesthetically. That is why you don’t need to keep the plant wired permanently. How long to leave the wires on bonsai? Well, it depends entirely on the plant genre and variety.

With the passage of time, the trunk and the branches become thicker, and eventually, the wire begins to bite into the bark. So keep a close eye on that and as soon as you see any sign of this, cut the wire right away.

Words of Caution:

Don’t try to unwind the wires for recycling purposes, it might do more harm than good and can damage the plant permanently.

Creating an elegant-looking bonsai tree is an art and it needs years to perfect that. If you are just starting, take small steps in the beginning. With time you will become an expert in wiring bonsai plants. You can learn more about bonsai tree care here.

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