How To Wire A Bonsai Tree? A Complete Guide To Make Your Bonsai Aesthetic

After a hectic day, when you come back to your home, a green environment can refresh your eyes. Or, when you wake up and look at the greenish trees, you can start a day with lots of energy. Or, trees can be the best option to pass your leisure time. 

As it’s not possible to grow big trees in your room, here, bonsai trees are the alternative. You have to wire the branches of the bonsai to give a great look and shape. Otherwise, your bonsai will look awkward. 

How to wire a bonsai tree? You can wire the bonsai tree’s branches with 3 times longer aluminum wire by wrapping clockwise or anticlockwise. 

In this guide, we will talk about the ins and outs of wiring a bonsai tree. Just keep your eyes on our further discussion to sharpen up your DIY skills. 

How To Wire A Bonsai Tree

The Importance of Wiring in Bonsai Tree

Wiring is essential to give your bonsai an artistic look and ensure development. You will not get an expected growth in bonsai without wiring.

Wiring is the most effective and easy to give your bonsai tree branches the perfect shape that you want to give. You can also control the natural form of a tree by wiring. There is also an alternative to wiring to give shape and grow bonsai. 

How To Wire a Bonsai Tree With Tips andTricks

Follow the below steps to wire a Bonsai Tree.

  1. Choose a healthy plant
  2. Prepare the plant for bonsai
  3. Choose the right wire with the appropriate thickness
  4. Take a handy plier or wire cutter
  5. Now hold the trunk to wrap it snugly with the wire 
  6. After finishing the trunk, wrap the entire branch
  7. Anchor trunk if necessary
  8. Remove the wire after 2-3 months

This is the brief of the process. Now we will discuss deeper to help you learn the tricks and tips to make the wiring effective.

Step -1 # Pre- Processing

Before starting the wiring process, some preparation is essential. Take a scissor to clip the leaves. After cutting out all the leaves, you can also cut some thin branches or long branches if you want. Cut out help you to manage Bonsai branch height. You don’t like big branches of bonsai. So cutting is important. Now you are ready to start wiring. 

Step – 2 # Choose The Best Type of Wire

In the market, you will get two types of wire for bonsai wire training. Besides these two, there are also so many wires available such as electrical wire, telephone wire, etc. But all are not suitable and effective for bonsai wiring. So, now we will talk about two useful wire types for bonsai.

Step -3 # Copper vs. Aluminum Bonsai Wire

  • Annealed copper wire:
    It is not possible to use copper wire directly to your bonsai. You need to process the wire before applying it to the plant. The processing method is known as annealing. In annealing, you need to heat the copper wire to a certain temperature so that the wire becomes soft.  You should not use recycled copper for bonsai wiring. Because it will not last long, catch rust and make your work and labor valueless.

Copper is harder than aluminum and works more strongly. So, once you bent the shape using copper wire, it is not possible to get back to the natural branch position. So, do the wiring consciously to avoid mistakes. You can’t bend twice with this strong wiring. So, this wire is basically for an expert gardener who has confidence in his work.  

But it will give you a 100% expected shape that you set. Besides, it takes less wiring to achieve a similar bend compared to aluminum wire. If you want to derive hardcore bends, then you may also choose stainless steel wire. 

  • Anodized aluminum wire:
    Aluminum wire is not too hard and gives you the flexibility to twist it as much as you need. Besides, if you make any mistakes during wrapping, you can easily take out this wire to take the branch back in its original position. As it does not provide a strong hold, so re-apply, or correction is possible. This type of wire is ideal for plants that contain thin bark.

Soft wiring won’t damage your loving plant’s bark. You can choose shiny anodized aluminum wire that gives you a visible appearance on bonsai. That helps to make the shape accurate. It comes in black or brown color. You can choose the color of your preference.

In the market, different quality and thickness of aluminum wire is available. So, it is tough to find high-quality, flexible and easy to mold wire. Some low-quality wire is difficult to bend and gets rusting after a few days. Besides, it is a hassle to cut with wire cutters. 

To solve your problem, you can buy this excellent MoHern bonsai tool kit.  It is a complete package to do bonsai wiring. What you will get from this kit.

  • Easy to mold and bend the wire with the hand
  • Easy to cut
  • Rust-resistance
  • 3 Different thickness wires are available
  • A handy plier makes cutting safe and hassle-free

We suggest this tool kit, especially for beginners. This wire is high-performing and form shape or bending is fun with this wire. You can cut it effortlessly. Besides, there is no risk of getting rust over time. Your plants must have different types of thick branches. So this package will give you a chance to choose the thickness of the wire based on your branch demands.

Step – 4 # Select Right Size Wire 

No matter whether you choose aluminum wire or copper wire, the Bonsai wire Size Chart is an important fact. The standard size of Bonsai wire is 1mm to 6mm. Actually, there is no rule to determine the bonsai wire gauge. The amount of gauge can vary depending on the number of branches. But the thickness is important. To do a drastic bend, you need a thicker wire. Besides, you need a different size of thickness according to your bonsai branch thickness.

Step – 5 # Aluminum Wire Thickness

When you purchase online, you can easily check the thickness in the description. For offline, you can measure the wire length to know the right thickness. You should not choose a wire that is thicker than your plant’s branch. It is harmful to bonsai growth. 

So, choose a thickness that is a bit thinner than the original branch. But not too thin that may take a long time to change shape and high risk of getting back to the original direction. So, the right thickness of wire is essential to make your bonsai accurate.

Step – 6 # Copper wire Thickness

As earlier we mentioned, copper is stronger than aluminum wire as it bent quickly to a new shape. So in the case of copper, you may go for thin thickness. Thinner copper wire is also capable of bending the branch.

Wiring a Bonsai

You can use two types of wiring in bonsai. One is the single-wire method and the other is double wire.

  • Single –wire Technique

When you want to give a unique look to every branch of bonsai, a single wire approach is recommended.

  • Double-wire technique

When you use a single wire to all the nearest branches of bonsai to give a similar shape in all the branches, the double-wire technique is required. 

To start wiring, you need a healthy plant and the right wire. Above, we talk about the best type of wire choice for bonsai. When you are going to start wiring, you should keep in mind that wiring is a long-term process. You need to keep patient and invest time and dedication to be successful in the wiring process. As you are wiring in a plant that is sensitive, so do it carefully.

Hold the limb gently and wrap the wire tightly to every branch. For nearest branches, you can apply a double wiring Technique.  But We will suggest using a single wiring technique. After wrapping a branch, cut out the extra wiring with pliers. You should twist the wire outwards the branch so that you get maximum control to evenly wrap the branch.

Try to twist around the limbs at a 40-50° angle.  Then bend the branch gently to set it in the right position and shape. But don’t wrap it over tightly. That may hamper the growth and also cut out the plant. So, it is wise to wrap snugly to avoid further issues.

It is better to start from a thick branch and then move to the thin for wiring. If you have a thick trunk, then first wiring on the trunk then starts covering the branch. So, you can successfully redirect the branches to grow in the particular directions that you want.

Step -7 # Wiring Trunks

Wiring a trunk is not applicable for all types of bonsai. When you choose a plant that contains a thick trunk, then wiring trunks is helpful. If you don’t have a thick trunk, you may skip this process. Wiring a trunk actually protects your plant’s bark. Before wiring trunks, first, twist raffia to make the bark safe. 

Then start wire wrapping. But wrap wire in a large trunk requires a unique tool called a branch jack. It helps to bring the actual bend you want. However, it is only necessary for heavy bending.  

Step – 8 # Anchor Wire

Now we are coming to the vital point that is anchor wiring. Some gardeners find anchoring is not essential whereas some find anchoring helpful. There is a debate arising about anchor wire. It is because you can shape and grow bonsai without anchoring. 

But anchor wire helps to make your wire wrapping stable and secure. If the twisting wire moves, there is a chance of harming the bark. So, to avoid this type of issue, you can use an anchor on the wire. But if your plant doesn’t have thin bark, you can skip this.

How to Anchor wire?

Anchoring basically has lots of methods. It depends on your branch’s needs. Here we are discussing one popular and effective anchoring method.

Anchor on Trunk wire

Find out the base point wire of the trunk that is close to the media. Now twist the wire at least twice around the trunk and then insert the wire into the media. You can use this anchoring technique to avoid unwanted movement.

When Should You Remove Wiring From Bonsai?

When Should You Remove Wiring From Bonsai

When you see the branch or trunk moving in the unnatural direction you set, you should remove the wire. Besides, you can also remove the wire when it starts to grow into the bonsai. Generally, redirecting a shape to form a particular shape requires 2-3 months. So after this time, cut off the wire using pliers. Do the cutting carefully to avoid bonsai damage.

Cons of Bonsai wiring

Wiring bonsai is effective in changing the natural shape of the branch. But often, it may damage your plant or resist the growth of bonsai if you keep the wiring for a long time.

Besides, when you fail to generate a particular shape, you like to wiring again. But, that is a time consuming and risky method. So, if you don’t have patience, dedication or the right tool, you can check out our alternative process.

Bonsai Wire Alternative 

If you feel wiring is not your cup of tea, then this alternative method is for you. Unfortunately, there is no better and effective way of Bonsai wiring. But still, you can try the below tricks.

  • Pruning Bonsai

Take a scissor to trim the branch and leaves to balance the Bonsai shape. It is the first step of shaping bonsai. So, do the pruning as early as possible. During pruning, you should consider some key factors 

  1. Fix a particular direction
  2. Balance density 
  3. Set branch length 

Pruning helps to maintain your expected size and shape. That improves its beauty. When your plants grow older, you also cut out the branches to derive a better look.

Pruning is the key to controlling bonsai’s height and shape. Instead of forcing to form an unnatural shape, pruning increases the chance of developing a natural shape that is pleasing and attractive. If you can trim properly, that will boost up the natural growth of bonsai. Keep the plant in an open area so that it gets much air and sun.

  • Repotting Bonsai

We all know bonsai is a living plant that intends to grow taller if you don’t apply any tricks. So, we need to keep its height short of giving it a beautiful shape. That is why regular repotting is an excellent idea. It helps to keep the bonsai root healthy and reduce the chance of increasing plant height. You can prune the grown root about 1-2 inches and then place it in a new pot. 

We will suggest you choose a larger pot so that the plant gets proper nutrients to grow quickly.

Here the challenge is we need to ensure the growth but not allow it to increase height. Using the Bonsai wire alternatives makes it tough to redirect any particular branch position according to your wish. So, wiring is the ideal way to derive an unnatural curve or direction.


Can you bonsai without wire?

Yes, it is possible to make bonsai without wiring. You can apply manual pruning and repotting techniques to grow bonsai naturally.

Can you use copper wire for bonsai?

Yes, you can use copper wire for bonsai. But it is stronger than aluminum wire, so you don’t have a chance to re-correct the bend if needed.

Can you use steel wire for bonsai?

Steel wire is only applicable to derive hardcore bends. For thinner branches, it is not an ideal choice.

Can you use any wire for bonsai?

No, you can’t use any type of wire for Bonsai wiring. The best and effective way is to use aluminum and annealed copper or steel wire.

What size bonsai wire to use?

Bonsai wire comes in different thicknesses from 1-6mm. There is no standard size for selecting a wire gauge. The thickness size depends on branch thickness. Try to keep a thinner thickness wire than your branch.

When is the right time to wire?

There is no specific rule for starting wiring. You can apply wiring during the three to five years age tree. It is not wise to start wiring before root development. You can do wiring in a full-grown bonsai.

Final Thought

Now you know how to wire a bonsai tree. We try to cover all tips and tricks to make your wiring effective and hassle-free. Follow this guide to give your bonsai an aesthetic look and growth. 

When you are wiring bonsai, be careful about the duration. You should not keep wiring for a long period to avoid plant damages. Besides balancing the Bonsai shape, we also talk about how to grow your bonsai quickly. You can apply to re-pot to get better growth. 

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