How to prune and wire your bonsai

You need to prune and wire your bonsai to determine its shape. There are many ways that your bonsai can then grow.
Here are some examples of shapes that you can produce.

Informal Upright (Moyogi)

This is the shape that you’ll most commonly encounter, and the way that most commercial growers will shape their bonsai.
This tends to look the most aesthetically pleasing in the widest variety of settings.
It is typically considered the easiest way to prune and wire your bonsai, particularly for beginners.

Slanting (Shakkan)

Characterised, as is clear by the name, by the typically quite straight but leaning trunk.

The trunk should be carefully considered, to have the nebari pointing in the opposite direction to the lean.

Windswept (Fukinagashi)

Again, as is clear by the name, the fukinagashi style appears as though it has been grown in a strong prevailing wind.

Typically the branches will also be pointing in same direction.

Literati or Bunjin (Bunjingi)

Taken from the literati of imperial china, these bonsai tend to be stripped of their branches at the lower level with a crown of branches at the top.

This can be achieved with very hard pruning.

Twin Trunk (Sokan)

Typically this shape is achieved by allowing one of the young branches to grow much thicker than would otherwise be allowed.

The same effect could be achieve with growing two trees very close to one another, whose trunk then merge as they grow.

Formal Upright (Chokkan)

This is the most formal style of bonsai, and grown in similar fashion/shape as that of a chrismas tree; with a thick trunk at the base which gradually tapers. The branch structure follows a similar pattern.


Finally, now go and prune and wire your bonsai to create your desired shape!