How do I prune my bonsai tree?

Pruning Bonsai – Keep the Styling Neat and Lush

Pruning your bonsai is an essential part of bonsai tree maintenance. If you did not prune your bonsai you bonsai would become straggly and you would end up with a ‘bush’. Your bonsai would not have neat foliage pads and the beautiful design of the trunk would disappear from view. Not only does pruning keep the bonsai aesthetically beautiful it also maintains the proportions. Regular pruning helps reduce the size of the leaves to nearly half the size. The new season leaves are always larger but with regular pruning the leaves naturally reduce in size.

Pruning Bonsai Trees Promotes ‘Back-Budding’

Pruning also encourages ‘back budding’. Back budding is a process, whereby, through the use of pruning the growth hormones move lower down the branches. Usually, the growth hormones are in the growing tips. By pruning, one encourages these hormones to move lower down the stems to encourage dense neat foliage pads and not long and leggy shoots.

Chinese Elm (Ulmus parvifolia) – Indoor Bonsai Tree

In this video Lloyd Noall, from Bonsai Direct, shows us how to prune your indoor bonsai trees. Using Verity’s bonsai as an example, you will see how to regain the shape of a bonsai tree using simple pruning techniques. The Chinese Elm (Ulmus pavifolia) is a fantastic indoor bonsai tree, with immense character. Ideal bonsai for beginners – easy to grow, care for and style. Great fun to prune!


Chinese Sweet Plum (Sageretia Theezans) – Indoor Bonsai Tree

In this video, Lloyd Noall from Bonsai Direct, shows how to prune to shape a Chinese Sweet Plum Bonsai (Sageretia theezans) which has not been turned and only has foliage on one side.

European Larch (Larix) – Outdoor Bonsai Tree

In this video Lloyd Noall, from Bonsai Direct, shows us how to prune a European Larch – a fantastic deciduous outdoor bonsai tree with great character. Larch trees make beautiful bonsai. During winter the branches are bare revealing intricate branch and twig structures. When spring comes, small bright green needle shaped leaves appear around the buds, giving the appearance of small green flowers. After watering little globules of water are trapped in the centre of the leaves, which sparkle in the sunlight. The foliage darkens during summer and in autumn turns bright gold. The bark also has great character. The Larch is easy to shape using pruning and wiring techniques. We hope you enjoy this video.

These are the tools we would recommend for Bonsai Pruning