How to prune Bonsai – Easy steps to prune your bonsai

Bonsai trees are living pieces of art that require care to grow and maintain. One aspect of this is pruning, which can be done in many ways. The best way to start is by reading up on the basics, like what Bonsai tree tools you need and when and how to prune Bonsai. There are also general guidelines for different bonsai trees, so you can get a better idea before starting your own tree. 

When you cut or prune a tree, it is crucial to understand that this will have consequences for the future. Pruning your Bonsai is essential for the tree to remain healthy, look its best, and grow properly. However, most Bonsai will grow best if pruned during their active growing season.

Pruning bonsai can also be one of the most challenging parts. Heavy pruning will cause your tree to lose its basic shape and appearance; too little pruning will allow disease or pests to invade the area. 

Here are some tips for how to prune your Bonsai.

How to prune Bonsai

Bonsai maintenance pruning

The goal of maintenance pruning is to help a tree stay healthy. This is done by maintaining and refining the shape of the tree. Pruning a tree is vital to maintain its compact shape and encourage growth in the desired areas. If you don’t prune your trees, they will concentrate most of their energy on one side and the top. This makes it look not good. 

It’s vital to cut off some branches so that they are all even with each other. However, a healthy bonsai tree must encourage growth near the inner of the plant.

When should a bonsai tree be pruned?

Maintenance pruning can be done throughout the growing season, usually from March to September, for outdoor Bonsai. Indoor Bonsai can be trimmed all year long.

How should I do bonsai maintenance pruning?

Trim crossed and broken branches

Proper maintenance pruning is essential to keep your Bonsai in good shape. Maintenance pruning is the process of removing branches or shoots that have outgrown their size limit. 

When you want to keep your Bonsai looking good, make sure there are no crossed or broken branches. You can use bonsai branch cutters if crossed or broken twigs on topaz boughs (branches). Just make sure these cutter head types will fit the tool properly before buying them because other styles could damage. You can do this with either twig shears, regular cutters, loppers, etc.,

Remove all the weeds and deadwood or leaves

The benefits include reduced size leaf volumes, which increase sunlight exposure. This is especially helpful if grown indoors where space may not always allow total height growth without crowding nearby plants. Also, leaves drawn out of place over time may cause brown spots. This is more prevalent in tropical temperatures.

Trim the twigs, so they only have 3-4 nodes

To keep your Bonsai healthy tree, cut back the twigs on a plant, so there are only 3-4 nodes. The joints that leave grow out of are called “nodes.” If you see 6 or more nodes on one branch, consider this for future pruning sessions because it’s time to reduce their size! Cleanly cut the plant just above the node. Use a sharp tool like branch cutters or knob cutting. This helps the plants grow bigger and better.

Pinch cutting of pine trees and some conifers

Avoid cutting pine trees and some conifers with scissors. Instead, pinch them with your hands. Using scissors, cutters, or shears to cut conifers can lead to brown and dead leaves.

Hold the shoot between your thumb and finger so that you can gently pull it away. This should snap at its weakest point, giving an easy escape route if anything gets stuck in there! Different species of plants need additional care. You might want to prune some plants and pinch others. Some even require a combination treatment.

However, it’s best to use bonsai tools for these types of jobs because they are specifically made to handle smaller trees without damaging them too much! Don’t be afraid! Regularly cutting away dead wood helps force more even growth distribution within a tree while developing dense foliage. 

Structural Bonsai pruning

Structural bonsai pruning is a process that takes patience and precision, but the results are worth it. You have to do it regular basis. The main objective of this type of pruning is to remove branches and foliage that are not aesthetically pleasing or do not support the design objectives for the tree. 

A tree should be okay if you cut off 1/3 of its leaves. After you style your tree, you can cut off an equal amount of roots. Experts usually suggest that you only do one significant pruning at a time, or even just once a year.

Plan for Structural Pruning from November to February

Pruning your trees is an integral part of their growth. But it’s the best time to do so if you want them healthy and complete when they’re out in force next season! The winter months, between November and February, is the best time for structure pruning. Ensure not too much prune or all at once.

How should I do structural bonsai pruning?

Cut back large branches

To keep the tree looking tidy and healthy, you need to cut back large branches that threaten to take over your yard. Prune for structure and style by cutting back any branches that are rubbing against one another. Plus, remove some of the interior growth if it is blocking light from flowering or fruiting trees. Cutaway any deadwood and then treat any wounds that are left. If you don’t remove these issues, there is a good chance that diseases and insects could invade the tree.

Remove suckers from the tree

Removing suckers from the tree will help maintain its shape and balance. Suckers are small offshoots from a tree’s base or branches. They can be plucked with fingers if you want to keep their balance and aesthetic appeal as well.

How to Purn Ficus Bonsai

Winter Season is the best time to Prune Ficus Bonsai Trees

Pruning your ficus bonsai trees during the winter is a good idea. This will help them grow better because they start growing in the spring.

Try to Start with a Sketched Plan for Pruning Ficus Bonsai

A bonsai is a kind of art, and it is a plant that can be pruned to produce different shapes. You can style your ficus bonsai tree in a way that will help you achieve the exact shape you want.

Before you cut branches off the ficus tree, imagine what it will look like when you are done. For this purpose, you can spend a few days thinking about your focus and let your ideas flow. 

Consider Using Sharp and Sterilized Concave Cutters

Using a tool that is not sterilized could make it a sick Bonsai tree. It could spread germs and bacteria. Plus, if you use tools that are not sharp enough, they will damage the cutting. For bonsai, you need high-quality cutters.

Always Rember about Cut Paste

It is good to cut and paste when you cut off a large part of your tree. The tree will get better and be successful again.

Avoid Trimming the Leaves of your Ficus Bonsai

Ficus bonsai trees are grown to perfect their appearance, so do not cut the leaves. Otherwise, the leaves might turn brown or become untidy in appearance.

It’s best not to cut any more than three shots on every shoot and the entire season. Do not cut too many shots, or it will ruin the look you want. You can just pinch the shoots that need attention now.

Consider the Aerial Roots of Ficus Benjamina Bonsai

With its aerial roots and spectacular branches, a Ficus Benjamina bonsai tree is a sight to behold. The aerial roots and branches of the tree are what make it so beautiful. It’s vital to strive to balance both roots and branches to ensure maximum attractiveness.

Be Prepared to Remove about 50% of New Growth

When you take care of a ficus bonsai tree, it can look very nice. You can cut off branches and help them have the appearance that you want. Don’t be scared to do this. If you want your tree to grow well, taking away 50% of the new growth in an ideal pruning session is crucial.

Remember, this is only the beginning. Your bonsai plan may change as you learn more about it and continue to care for it over time. Don’t panic about the way your plant looks now – it will grow more.

Best Bonsai pruning Shears of 2022

1.Sago Brothers Bonsai Pruning Scissors

This Sago Brothers Bonsai Pruning Scissors is designed for your needs, whether you’re a professional or an amateur. The blades of these pruning shears are made of stainless steel, and the unique design allows for a clean cut that heals quickly. They are specially designed for pruning this deciduous tree and delicate buds. You can trim small stems, weak branches, and leaves. This knife is also suitable for cutting paper, string, etc.

This bonsai pruning kit is very light and easy to operate. Made of high-quality stainless steel material, it is rust-resistant, durable, and sturdy. It is easy to clean and wash. It comes with a matching pouch for you to carry or store after using it.

This blade can cut through a 5/8″ thick object. After you use it, clean it with alcohol and put oil on the sword if necessary. The size of the tools is 4*0.75 inches for each small pair of Bonsai scissors. You are getting 5 pruning shears for an excellent price.

2.Hasami Bonsai Pruning Shears

The Hasami Bonsai Shears are designed & manufactured in local Japanese workshops. These bonsai shears are ideal for trimming and pruning your Bonsai. This pruning tool is suitable for beginners with Bonsai. Made of the finest Japanese steel, these trimming shears are high in quality and value. They are sharp and highly durable, and they will last a lifetime.

They are made from the finest carbon steel, hardened and tempered with a blade length of 2.04″ and a clean precision cut. This bonsai pruning kit can cut branches that are 1/2 inch (10mm) in diameter. It is also suitable for ikebana and general gardening work.

This handle is significant, and it loops. It is close to the blade. It’s pretty comfortable to hold it in hand. This will help you control the knife better and use less strain on your hands. This blade is sharp and sturdy. The edge cuts through wood fibers, so the cut heals more quickly.


Pruning is the heart of the art of bonsai!. It is not always easy to prune Bonsai, but it can be done with patience and care. If you take the time to learn how to do this correctly, your Bonsai will grow more beautifully than ever before.

You can do this by following the steps we’ve outlined in our article on how to prune bonsai trees. We hope you found these suggestions helpful!

Resource by Bonsai Tree Gardener

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