Bonsai: Styling Your First Bonsai Tree

hello my name is Peter Juan I'm a bonsai

professional and I studied in Japan I

travel all over the world teaching

bonsai and I've used my experience and

knowledge to bring you this new book

bonsai by DK we'll take you through the

basics of caring for your first bonsai

tree on a popular first tree the Chinese

elm starting on your first tree may be a

daunting prospect the trick is to be

clear about your aim so first things

first assess your tree to get an idea of

the direction you want to go in start by

looking to see what the most interesting

character features of your tree are and

how you can accentuate them one of the

most important things to look at the

root system on the surface is this is

where the movement of the tree starts

take away the top layer of soil and moss

to get a better look with this tree

there's a very strong root on one side

so if we have an upright tree this is

going to create a sense of imbalance so

one way of utilizing this very strong

root to its maximum is to change the

planting angle of the tree move on to

look at the branches and figure out a

possible styling I do like the wildness

within the branches as they have very

natural movement so we'll look to

accentuate that move some branches over

to the right and go for a dramatic

windswept look it will be a classic

Chinese abstract style tree

work on creating a strong structure

first before you tackle the straggler

growth in this area here more than two

branches emerge from the same Junction

or node so we need to take saw these out

so this area will not thicken in the


removing unsightly branches creates

space inside the tree so look for shoots

are growing back into the center of the

tree shoots the grow directly upwards or

downwards shoots that to straight will

also work on this branch here there's

one strong straight line starting at the

base of the branch moving into this

midsection here with two slightly

thinner branches on outside will remove

the middle section which will change the

direction and create a bit of space

making a lighter and more elegant

imagine an idealized branching structure

and work towards achieving it don't

worry if you accidentally take off the

wrong branch as young shoots may be

repositioned with wire to fill any gaps

in your design it's very important to

clean the wound to make sure it's nice

and smooth this will help it to heal

over more quickly or more attractively

treat all of the cut areas with wound

sealant from more detailed look at how

to make cuts and seal wounds see our

other bonsai videos in our playlist

remove any dead branches to get a better

idea of what you can use to create the

tree use pruners to take out the larger

dead shoots start to prune to shape

reduced branches extending out to the

silhouette ensuring they have leaves or

visible buds before you prune back this

will encourage new shoots to grow

wiring the branches enables us to

manipulate them and place them where we

want the main thing to remember is to

ensure that the wire is on the outside

of the bend that you are trying to make

and to use two hands to support both

sides of the bend always stand back

every now and again to look at the

overall structure proving the style and

quality of the top will give you a lot

more enjoyment so consider looking for a

new pot to transplant your tree into for

more detailed video on how to prepare a

new pot and reap our bonsai tree check

out our other videos on the playlist

first ensure any fixing wires on the

underside of the pot have been cut and

then use a root saw to cut through the

soil in contact with the pot walls try

not to cut through any large roots take

the tree out of the pot but don't use

force if the tree is stuck cut around a

little more gently rake out the soil and

start to prune any strong roots back

trim fibrous roots down to size with a

sharp pair of ripped pruning scissors

check the tree fits in the pot in your

chosen position and then add some soil

tie the tree in and use pliers to fasten

the wires until they sit tightly at the

root base

cover the roots with soil and work it in

between the roots with a chopstick wash

the relate to clean out any dust or

debris and keep watering until the water

runs off clear

the Finnish tree has an open graceful

structure on which new growth can be