Making a
Pine bonsai

Pruning, wiring and repotting

Learn how to make a Shohin sized Bonsai from a young Pine! In this article and video we show you how to prune, wire and repot a Pine of about 8 years old.

Bonsai can be created in many different ways, from seeds (which would take at least 5 years before you can start working on your tree) or buying a ready-made Bonsai in an online store. Another way is to purchase nursery stock (from a Bonsai retailer or garden center if you are lucky) that has Bonsai potential. By applying techniques like pruning, wiring and repotting you can turn that nursery stock into a nice looking Bonsai tree!

In this article we show the steps we took to make a Bonsai from a relatively young Pine - but a pine with great potential and hence a price tag of around $50 USD.

Make a Pine Bonsai
This plant is a Japanese white pine, also known as the Pinus parviflora. It is about 5 years old and it was purchased in a Bonsai store for around $50 US.
Make a Pine Bonsai
We use a thick wire to bend the trunk, and stick one end of the wire into the root mass as anchor.
Make a Pine Bonsai
Next, we wire the main branches of the tree. We try to select pairs of branches that are more or less the same thickness, and wire these with one piece of wire. In between the two branches, make sure to wrap the wire at least once around the trunk (or main branch) for stability.
Make a Pine Bonsai
On some places on the trunk there are too many branches, so we will remove a few of these.
Make a Pine Bonsai
To reduce the current height of the tree, we are removing the existing apex, and we will use these smaller branches as the new apex.
Make a Pine Bonsai
Keep your thumb on the inside of the curve that you are creating, to make sure the branch does not break.
Make a Pine Bonsai
Now we prepare the pot, by covering the drainage hole with a mesh. We also attach a long wire, which will be used to anchor the tree to the pot firmly.
Make a Pine Bonsai
Ok, so we have pruned and wired the pine and we already worked a little on the roots. Now we chose to not touch the roots too much because we already  did some pruning and wiring, and we do not want to do too much at the same time. So in this case we only removed a small part of the old roots.
Make a Pine Bonsai
The soil mixture we use is a blend of Akadama, Lava rock and Pumice.
Make a Pine Bonsai
After pruning, wiring and repotting, this was the result.

How to make a Pine Bonsai tree (video tutorial)

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