Bonsai Tree Training
Training is an important step to create a realistic view of the miniature bonsai trees growing in containers. Actually some techniques have been used by people for hundreds of years in some Eastern countries. The aim of the work is to emulate the naturally grown trees in pots while preserve the beauty of the trees. Compared with other tree species, some evergreen species such as pines are easily to be trained into desired shapes. Lots of techniques can be performed as a part of the training like pruning and wiring.
Before the training work, you should do some learning on your bonsai trees to determine which part should be pruned and which part should be preserved. The desired shape should be illustrated on a piece of paper for further reference. The pruning tool for trimming branches should be some sharp tools specially designed for bonsai trees. Heavy pruning which will shape the main structure of the tree should only be performed every one or two years. Some minor trimming jobs can be done from time to time to keep the tree tidy. The roots can be trimmed to remove some untangled ones during the repotting process.
Apart from pruning, you should occasionally do some pinching on new leaves to facilitate the growth of new buds. The tree will become leafier and have abundant foliage, and they can be easily trained into your desired shapes. Some metal wires can be applied to the tree as part of the training work. One end of the wire should be fixed at the base of the trunk and other end should be used to pull the branch to your desired directions. Avoid pulling your trees tightly to prevent breakage. The training work should be done during the growth season.
Image provided By Todd G. Brown (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons