Beginners Guide to Bonsai Shaping

would you say that looks like a well we

like to think that you can make bonsai

from aging all these plants here

including this silver bird seedling can

be made on don't worry

anything can be created as long as it

has a new trunk so let's deal with it

this is a Japanese launch when it's

blown vigorously they get these very

bushy leaves it's a deciduous conifer by

the way but as they get older and they

are kept in the pot for all time they

get these beautiful rosettes which is

just like a party the Japanese and

Chinese called a large a deciduous kind

or drop leaf pine these little seedlings

by the way they are seedlings they're

Silverbird seedlings if you put it in a

little bonsai pot I can guarantee you

you'll make a beautiful little on sight

so don't waste anything this hour I used

to start when I started my hobby things

like that so remind me so let's as plans

go when new shoots come the old shoots

die off for that nowadays most of the

shaping is done by words in the olden

days the Chinese used to make bonsai

using a method which they called cutting

home and in cutting draw what they did

was simply create these shapes by

cutting at the point they want the tree

to grow supposing I want to treat to

have a bend this way so I cut everything

off there the tree will grow there

if I want to shoot back this way I put

it out there and just shoot back that

because these curly and angular shapes

and Banzai are what makes the Banzai

look distinctive but ever since war

started coming into use which is I would

say less than having a hundred years ago

people have not used the cutting room

method very much on door in China there

is a school that does use the cut and

grow method is called a ling Lyle school

and in that style of bonsai the trees

are grown in that angular fashion so

that's distinctive of that style but by

and large today most people do the

bonsai with wires they shaped of trees

with wires and why we use most commonly

with aluminium wire back in the

seventies and even in the early 80s when

we were just getting serious and bonsai

we couldn't get bonsai 101 imported

bonsai why it was a luxury so all we

ever used was coat hanger wire the

insides of electric cables overhead

transmission wires for big trees so

that's the why we use but ever since

bonsai one came into use what's easy

assuming you use the right grid of wire

you can bend the tree into any shape you

will notice that we have different

grades of our this is aluminium one

which is coated brown or hammered iced

because most trees have a brown trunk so

it blends with the thing you can use

clear why you can use copper wire you

can see steel wire iron wire but how you

minimize the easier to use for bonsai

you've got to use the right grade

how do you know it's the right grade I

think there is something we call common

sense if I wanted to bend that trunk I'm

not going to use a thin wire like that

no way will that bend it common sense

tells you it won't bend it I don't need

to use something as thick as a pencil

because that would be a stick of the

trunk but something in between also

there's no hard and fast rule as to what

gauge Y will

then what thickness trunk because

different species will have different

flexibility and pliability the older the

tree the more rigid it becomes and it's

hard to bend the new tree is probably

harder to bend and a large and so it

goes on certain trees are very difficult

to man and can snap like the maples are

very brittle

so we bend it very very little or we

bend it when it's very young okay so we

use the correct gauge wire and once you

put the wire on what we're trying to

create is that issue

someone Halliburton has Chinese out can

I just have the Chinese that's shaped

what we call the S shape or the informal

approach shape this curly shape is

largely created by wiring although there

are other medicines like sticking it in

the ground and then wrapping around a

bamboo pole you can do it that way but

the more common way is to wire with y so

assuming you use the right grade of wire

you can create that shape we are going

to make what is called the S shape and

the S shape is not just a flat test it's

a three dimensional s so you think of a

coil of wire and opening the coil of

wire out that is really an issue so that

is the shape we are trying to create not

just flat so to make that think of

stirring a pot that's the action you

make like that just tear apart one piece

of wire would create actually one piece

of wire how simple is that

not difficult so that is what you do if

I want to use that branch I will but

that is the shape I get with just that

front being one now although it came out

of the pot at that angle

I think it looks better if it spotted at

this angle so we position it like this

if I use this branch I don't know I

could use it as a sacrificial to take in

that but I won't confuse your complicate

matters now let's just wire these now

when it comes to wiring the branches we

find similar thickness branches to wire

with one piece of wire so we have a

thing called the

- Braun's principle where we use one

piece of wire to wire two branches

together now please try and remember

this because it is absolutely

fundamental to wiring bonsai although I

tell people to do it during the class

someone will invariably go back to their

old habits of wiring each branch on its

own there's nothing wrong with wiring

supposing I want to wire this branch I

could easily wrap it around the trunk

and take it out to that branch but if

you keep doing it the trunk will get

congested with water and it will become

very untidy whereas if you use one piece

of wire to use to do the two branches

you get a very neat appearance so you

get a better looking tree tidier tree so

this is the essence of the true branch

principle as I'm using wire cutters to

cut it and then the next pair is that

one or I could even do supposing I

didn't want to go up the trunk I can

wire an existing branch so the existing

branch is this one I'll show you what I

mean and then hook it to this branch so

I'm still using the true branch

principle although this branch has

already been watched so you if you get

three branches you can still use this

principle then the next one will be

these two and so it goes on let me just

finish it I remember back in the 80s

some of you may be old enough to

remember a programme on BBC called

Pebble Mill at one this was a lunchtime

like a magazine programme and part of it

they have a bit of gardening and a chap

called Peter Seabrook used to

do it and the corresponds I was quite a

novel thing in those days I did quite a

lot of his programs I must have gone up

about three four times and when I told

him that we can produce these lodges in

three minutes he says that's an ideal

time for television so I actually

produced these lodges in three minutes

so this is how long it should take you

because I'm talking so much it's taking

longer but if I set myself to three

minutes I could well do it

within three minutes so it just shows

you I'm not trying to be very clever

anything but it shows you it's not

difficult if you go to commercial

nurseries in China and Japan a lot of

this work is done by women and you would

see that they can produce this literally

in three minutes or less so that's how

long it should take you so the point I'm

trying to make is that it's not

difficult it's not difficult how

difficult is this one piece of wire to

do the trunk and a few watch maybe four

four wires to do the branches there you

are and now all I need to do is put it

in a bonsai pot and I've got three that

look quite quite different from what it

started off with so if you've never worn

before I would suggest that you actually

practice this dessert English you can

use the same principle makes it

beautiful little tree you'll get

confidence just from wire so go ahead

always cut wire with the wire cutters

which look like this do any of you

Cossack returns

these are called fur coats with circuit

test and the fur coat secretaries have a

little notch here can you see that not

cell that can cut wire but don't cut

with that although you can cut it it

would block the bling so if you're using

fur coats you can cut it down but block

with the blade

there are few tools if you want to buy

tools you could buy some tools and do

the class with them because if you

haven't got tools I can mention that

there are really only one tools you

really need is with your pair cut tuning

scissors you can buy cheap Chinese ones

I think 10 pound it so cheap and

cheerful is not always the best then

there are better quality ones made in

Japan which are like 39 pounds these

long handle ones are very good they're

tricksters they could do the same thing

therefore pouring the ends of shoots you

see they're called tricks yes so this is

as I say the most useful tool you can

buy if you've seen me on my youtube

videos I prefer this because I like the

grip of the thing this is the same thing

these two do the same job so this is the

most essential to all the other ones

like the rates you can add to it you can

improvise but the scissors you can't get

away with if you got secateurs at home

that's quite good

so rake is very useful because we tease

the roots when you come to putting up

one such as you could use electric

pliers but the Japanese or the proper

bonsai wire cutters are quite unique

they do a very special job and the

action is quite different from any other

tool so they are so much for about the

tools that yeah I think after being

repotted the tent the roots probably a

bit tender it's a start water to feed

now might like do the more homely career


what I saw in this was true excellent

this little kid seems to be like is that

your best side that's a very small