If you’ve seen a large number of bonsai tree photos or have even attended an exhibition yourself, you’ve probably witnessed the art of wire wrapping a bonsai. But, of course, if you’re a beginner and don’t have much experience with bonsai, the wire may come as a surprise. However, for those well-versed in caring for these diminutive greens, using wires to manipulate tree shapes is standard practice.
Wiring bonsai trees are more common than you would think, but it’s a far cry from those miniature manicured trees we’ve all grown accustomed to. If you’re new or curious about this art form, below is some basic information to help you understand.
What Is The Point Of Using A Wire On Bonsai Trees?
Before you can truly grasp the concept of bonsai wrapping, it is essential to understand how these miniature trees work.
Essentially, a bonsai tree is a mini version of a mature adult tree, as you would see in a garden. To achieve this result, young trees or shrubs will need manipulation, pruning, and forming to look precisely like their enlarged counterparts.
Where does the wire come in, you ask? As old and young trees grow significantly different, wiring is the only way to manipulate their branches into the desired shape. For example, mature lifesize trees have branches that grow downward, whereas young trees will always grow upward.
The wire allows one to sculpt the tree into a mature form and coax the branches downward. This will enable the tree to look mature and fully grown.
Bonsai Wire Types
You can, of course, use any wire, in theory, to help your bonsai grow the way you want. However, bonsai growers will often choose one of the two most common types available: annealed copper or anodized aluminum.
Annealed copper wire is thin copper wiring that has been heated through fire. This ensures the wire becomes more pliable and easier to shape without breakage. Once the annealed copper wire is bent or twisted around bonsai branches, it becomes sturdier and will hold its shape nicely.
Copper wire is known for a high level of strength and durability. In addition, it can prevent the tree branches from springing back to their natural positions. It is worth noting that it’s not easy to purchase this wire online. However, Adam’s Bonsai has a decent selection.
Anodized aluminum wire comes in dark colors such as black or brown, so it can blend well with trees. When aluminum is anodized, it is treated to ensure it isn’t susceptible to corrosion and goes through an electrochemical process.
It is the ideal choice for beginners because it is easily acquired and simple enough to work with. In addition, its softness is a positive attribute, and it is budget-friendly.
You can find a large number of different sizes when it comes to the wire. For shaping tender foliage, thin wiring is a good idea. However, bending or shaping larger branches, thick diameter wiring is a necessity.
How To Secure Drainage Screens
Pots used for housing bonsai trees require drainage holes. However, you need to take special care to ensure no soil falls out. To achieve this, a plastic mesh is secured to the bottom of the pot by using the wiring of your choice.
Wiring Is Important After All!
Wires are an integral tool for growing, shaping and ensuring that the tree has proper drainage. It is a necessity in every bonsai enthusiast’s toolbox, and if you’re starting, consider stocking up on anodized aluminum as it can easily teach you the basics of wiring a tree.