BONSAI WIRING A MUST FOR THE ENTHUSIAST
Bonsai wiring is an important segment of the miniature tree hobby. Nearly all well designed and thought out small trees have been wired. Wiring is the practice of wrapping aluminium or copper wire around the trunk or branches in order to shape the tree. This is a very tedious technique to conquer but the enthusiast has better regulation and movement of the trunk or branches of the bonsai to turn it into a true work of living art. The result of all this tedious work is the branch or trunk,in weeks or months,is trained to remain in the position after the wire is removed.
By wrapping the trunk and branches with wiring of the right length and thickness,the basic style of your miniature tree is born. As you recall from the previous discussion, no wrapping of your specimen results in a formal upright or chokkan and to create the cascade look or kengai requires a lot of wiring over a great period of time.
THE SIZE AND BENDING OF BONSAI WIRING
I will tell you about the bonsai wiring before we get into the why?,How?and When?The wiring itself is usually available from bonsai nurseries or on line web shops. It is sold as anodised aluminium or annealed copper. I have to tell you that for beginners the aluminium is easier to work with and could be reused but not a good idea. Copper wire,on the other hand,is extremely more difficult to apply but it has more holding power than aluminium wire where you are working with thicker branches. The copper wire incidentally cannot be reused. You will need your wire cutters as discussed earlier to remove the wire and cut your wire into suitable sizes.
Aluminium is usually purchased in mm sizes so the thicker the wire the stronger it will be to hold your branches or trunks in place.The copper wire is usually purchased to a gauge size but maybe mm. The wire thickness needs to be one-third of the trunk or branch that is being attempted to bend. The situation here,when analyzed, tells you because of the strength of copper a thinner wire can be used conversely with aluminium a thicker wire will be required.
It is not just enough to know the required wiring thickness for the job at hand, but because of the varied size and pliability of your specimen,you may need three to four sizes on hand to wire the entire tree. In order to keep your sanity you should have available in bonsai wiring reels of 1mm,one and half mm,two and one half mm and 4mm.
Now before we get too far along here,this would be the place to practice wrapping a tree branch of similar specimen to acquire the dexterity needed to do the real wiring. You should pratice with each thickness of wiring from the 1mm to the 4mm.You may find,at this point that you hate this type of gardening,so you can move on with little harm done.
A word of caution should be noted here. The art of bonsai wiring applies stress along the trunk and branch line. You must proceed with caution and patience. The alternative result is a cracked branch or even worse a cracked trunk and thus a dead tree. You can also wrap too tightly which will result in scarring that can kill the tree or create damage that may require months or years for your specimen to heal. Now,for you beginners,that I sufficiently made a little nervous and perhaps shaking hands,when you first pickup those wires,relax.Wiring and many other accessories including trees are available at the web site below. Just click on the flashing sign.
THE SELECTION OF THE PROPER TIME FOR BONSAI WIRING
The selection of the exact month to begin your wiring is a bit complex. Depending on the species you have decided to reshape or shape,each one begins and ends its growing season and dormant times at different dates. A deciduous or leafy tree aremore prone to damage in the spring as the growing season begins and the sap begins to flow. This is your sign to wait until later perhaps until summer to begin your wiring.
I would not wire pine.for example,in the fall it can easily become scarred if the wiring is not checked every couple of weeks. In an effort to wire your prized possession at the appropriate time,wire when the tree is slightly dry. However,too dry and you risk the cracking of a branch and conversely too wet and sap flow creates branch pressure which can also bring on cracks. I know all of this sounds like double talk but it takes practice and patience to learn this bonsai art form. It would also be advisable to locate an expert who is teaching classes and enroll. I am glad you are reading my information,but a little hands on experience will assit in reinforcing the text you are reading or wading through here.
See exotic bonsai trees to test your wiring skills
THE APPLICATION OF BONSAI WIRING
The first bit of advise would be to wrap from the base of the trunk followed by thicker branches and the smallest branches are saved for last. You must bend branches slowly and steadliy and listen closely for any noise that would indicate cracking. If you encounter such, STOP.
Wiring should be applied at 45 degrees to the direction of the branch which you are about to wire. You must hold the start of the wire point as firm as possible in your left hand as you wrap the wire down the branch. The wire that has already been applied should not have the ability to move while you are continuing to wire the remainder of the branch.
The wiring,being in your right hand,you move the wire through your thumb and finger as you continue to apply a circling motion with the wrist. You should have cut the wire one third longer than the branch and cut to length when you reach the tip of the branch. The very last twist of the wiring,as depicted above, should be at ninety degrees to the direction of the branch in order to secure the wire ending at the very tip.The best possible place to make sharp bends is at the leaf joints because additional branches will grow in this area. It is advisible,when wiring the trunk,that the start of the wire be anchored in the soil and roots of the specimen. There are differences of opinion on this method but I am inclined to go with this type of anchor.You do have to be careful and check the anchor because any severe movement of your wire could disturb the plant roots as the winding of wire proceeds.
This not a scientific rendering on how to wire your miniature tree but a method employed by many. The only way to acquire the method best suited to you is to practice,practice and gain some experience. As I stated before I would be inclined to take a course in wiring or acquire a video of same to master this skill. This is not a skill easily described in words.
WHEN SHOULD BONSAI WIRING BEGIN?
The best timing for decidious trees would be in the fall. The leaves will have dropped by this time and provide you with a more visible picture of your bonsai wiring art. Coniferous trees can actually be wired anytime between spring and fall. This typeof tree must be wired every year and should be a bonsai wiring of the entire tree in order to give you the design desired,which if I have not mentioned before and is worth repeating,a design you have computer generated or one from a model made of the final look of the specimen.
Even though coniferous trees can be wired at anytime,the possibility of heavy bends point more toward performing this task from late summer through early fall. A great many pines of this type have finished with their heavy growing season by this time and will need require bonsai wiring by this time. This will give your specimen the time to heal and the wiring can remain until the following year.
It woud be advisable to be particularly cautious with the tropical type trees.It can be wired at anytime but this species grows so fast that the wire can be embedded in the branches before it is realized by the owner.
If you are still interested at this point go find yourself a course in bonsai wiring.The only thing left to say is "HAPPY WIRING"
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