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Pruning is the operation by which the roots or branches of a plant are cut with special techniques in order to stimulate fruiting and flowering, as well as to improve aeration and, why not, shape.
Pruning in bonsai is used to reduce the size of the tree at will or to improve its branching. Consequently, through pruning it is also possible to obtain a greater balance in the final appearance of the plant, also thanks to the imposition of a particular style that favors the tastes of the gardener. As it also happens with fruit trees, with this operation it is also possible to attenuate, and even vary, the fundamental guidelines of the sap. By means of pruning it is also possible to reduce the formation of the root system, thanks to the correct carat made manually between the upper part and the lower part of the plant.
However, it is good to keep in mind a fundamental principle, namely that pruning can shorten the life of the plant. It is true that it rejuvenates the tissues and that sometimes drastic pruning can be necessary, for example in the case of illness. But the regulating principle in this matter is that which imposes a lot of parsimony, minimizing pruning on your plants especially when they are in the juvenile stage because it could slow down their growth.
On the basis of various variables that must be considered case by case and plant by plant, bonsai pruning can take on particular and customized forms. It is possible for example to apply a dry pruning and a green pruning.
Dry pruning is to be done between November and March, during the so-called latency period that anticipates the vegetative growth of the bonsai. It is good practice to perform green pruning in the case of rigorous and important cuts.
Green pruning, on the other hand, is to be done during mild and warm seasons and is very useful for stimulating flowering, avoiding the formation of particular excessively structured jets, thus facilitating the formation of reduced branching.
In the bonsai technique, pruning is of particular importance, because it is applied precisely to keep the size and proportions of the plant contained and concentrated. But, remember, it is necessary to perform it sparingly and with full knowledge of the facts to avoid more or less fatal damage to your little tree.
For bonsai lovers, it will be useful to learn about some little trick or remedy that can help in the care and conservation of these splendid botanical varieties. By carefully following a fixed pattern and operating with care and sensitivity, you will certainly get wonderful and priceless results and the level of personal gratification will skyrocket!
There are more types of pruning and each of them must be applied for particular needs that will come from time to time and, as already mentioned, can vary greatly from plant to plant. More generally, three main types of pruning can be distinguished: the sweet pruning, the so-called drastic and, lastly, the strong one. Each of them must be applied on the basis of a pre-established scheme that the enthusiast must necessarily have in mind before operating, otherwise there is a risk of serious trouble!
The gentle pruning of your bonsai is applied almost exclusively on the upper part of your plant and is necessary during the first vegetative period on those plants, such as elms and hornbeams, which emit more than one hunt. For this reason it will happen that you have to intervene several times, but before going on you will have to wait until the new hunts have become rather woody, otherwise the effort would be thwarted. In some types of plants the flowers will sprout on the weakest branches, so it is necessary to prune gently in both summer and winter in order to rebalance the throwing of more jets. Taking into consideration the species treated, it is a good rule that the sweet summer pruning is scanned in two stages: first at the beginning of the season, on the lower part of the plant. After that, after a couple of weeks, you can work on the upper part
If you were to buy a nursery plant in your hands, then it could be useful to make a drastic pruning. This type of pruning is in fact necessary when the actually exploitable part of your bonsai plant is limited to the lower part; the one, for instance, that starts from the roots and ends with the principle of the trunk. It is useful for initially setting up your bonsai but it may happen to the less experienced to concentrate too much on the upper part creating an imbalance with the lower part. It will therefore be necessary to intervene also on the latter in order to obtain an excellent result.
When your bonsai has excess branches and a replacement of the tips is necessary, then the practice of strong pruning is what suits you. It can be used both when the plant is already sufficiently structured, and when it comes from a nursery and is therefore still aesthetically imperfect.
Strong pruning should be performed for those branches that tend to originate in the same space. In this case, leave only one. It is also useful in those cases in which the branches grow towards each other or downwards, or when they spiral into the trunk.