Bonsai is the art of growing trees in small pots and containers. They are ordinary trees, which are trained to grow in small containers. Even the foliage of bonsai trees can be seen in different styles. One of the integral aspects of growing a bonsai tree is pruning, which determines the size of the tree, as well as the style of its growth.
Raising a Juniper Bonsai
When it comes to growing bonsai trees, junipers are highly preferred. They are coniferous plants that belong to the genus Juniperus and family Cupressaceae. There are around 50 to 70 species of junipers that include both tall trees and shrubs. Most of them have leaves like, needles or scales. This compact foliage is considered ideal for bonsai trees. Apart from that, juniper trees can be easily trained to make different bonsai styles. All these factors make junipers very popular as bonsai trees, that are grown both outdoors and indoors. Juniper species, like Chinese juniper, Japanese garden junipers, green mound, sargent's needle, and shimpaku, are grown extensively as bonsai trees. Growing a juniper as a bonsai is comparatively easier, when compared to other types. Pruning and training are the most important aspects of juniper bonsai care.
Pruning is meant for reducing the size of the tree, and to achieve the desired style of foliage growth. A major part of bonsai pruning is performed at the initial stages of growth, when a normal plant specimen is transformed into a fit candidate for growing as a bonsai. Sometimes, the entire top portion of the tree is removed, to make it compact. Pruning is a technique, which requires expertise; to avoid damage to the bonsai, and to prevent uncontrolled growth.
How to Prune Juniper Bonsai Trees
Pruning of new buds is done throughout the growing season. While some people use scissors to nip off the buds, it is also contended that scissor cutting may cause browning of the cut ends, thereby spoiling the looks of the tree. The practice used for pruning juniper bonsai trees is known as finger pinching. This technique is also called nipping. The buds are held between the tips of the thumb and forefinger, and twisted sharply to make a clean cut.
Usually, pruning is done after a month of growth, which starts in spring. Pinching off the growing buds will make the foliage more compact. Care must be taken to remove the old inner growth, that may fall off in June. All the crossed and dead stems have to be removed. If the tree is being grown in a particular style, then pruning must augment that style or maintain the same. For removing long branches, bonsai shears can be used. Pruning can be done continuously throughout the growing season, till mid September. Once the pruning is finished, wiring can be done.
Even though, juniper bonsai pruning is considered an easy task, a little expertise is required to get the desired results. So, get some basic training for making a perfect juniper bonsai tree.