Lets Talk Bonsai Tools

Bonsai Tool Set
In this blog we will talk about tools, more specifically the top six tools you should own when starting out in Bonsai.
Tools are one of the most important parts of Bonsai. They are used to trim branches, remove branches and roots. They help you remove the tree from the pot. There are a number of tools which have been designed or adapted for Bonsai.

As your skills and confidence increases, you will want to add to your Bonsai tool collection.

Below are my top six must have tools.

200mm Long Handled Shears This tool is used for removing small shoots to fine roots.

They are great for getting into the middle of the branch structure for those hard to reach places.

I recommend this tool to anyone starting off with only small trees in mind.

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Trimming Shears I only use this tool for cutting roots only.

You can of course use this for trimming branches of a certain size.

Please note if you do use these for trimming roots be careful as potting soil contains grit, stones etc that could chip the blades.

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Concave Branch Cutters Suitable for cutting branches close to the trunk to give a clean finish.

By using concave cutters it will help the tree heal and the new cambium to form.

I always try and make one clean cut if possible but if not I make two or even three cuts to tidy up the area.

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Wire Cutters They do exactly what it says.  They cut small gauge wire when wiring branches and also when you wire the trees into the pot for security.

Always a useful tool to have around.

You can also purchase larger versions for bigger gauge wire.

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Knob Cutters Knob cutters are used to cut branches or ugly knots from the tree.

I don’t find them as good as the concave cutters but still a good tool to have in the box.

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Chopstick The final tool and very under rated.  The humble Chopstick.

I always tell everyone on our One-to-One classes that the Chopstick is the most important tool.

It is used to remove soil at the start of the repotting process and again at the end to make sure you work the soil into the roots and fill in any air gaps.

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Other tasks undertaken in June:

  • The most important task this month is watering.  I generally water first thing in the morning and again in the evening when the sun has passed the trees.
  • Continue to fertilise your trees.
  • Wiring can be done again this month but be careful not to damage the fresh/new shoots.
  • Soft wood cuttings can be taken on Elms and Maples.

Final notes:

There are two Bonsai shows this month.

The Cardiff Bonsai Show is on the 17th June and the Bristol Bonsai Show is on the 24th June (I will be there between 10am – 12pm).

Information on both shows can be found on the Events page.

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