Understanding the growth pattern and the factors that influence how your maple bonsai tree grows is key to effectively train it to the style you want. There are many techniques that you can use to create an aesthetically pleasing bonsai. One of these techniques is wiring.
Wiring is one of the most common way to guiding the direction of your bonsai’s growth. It is effective and easy to apply. For this purpose, you have a choice of copper wire or aluminum bonsai wire, both of which should be easy to find in a bonsai nursery or garden shop.
Aluminum wire has the advantage of being easy to bend and wound around your tree. There’s also a type of aluminum wire that is brown in color which allows it to blend easily into the color of your tree. Copper wire is also effective, however, it tends to harden when bent and so may be hard to get around your tree.
Here are some tips on wiring your bonsai maple tree:
- The best time to wire your tree is just as winter is coming to an end. The leaves of your maple have not yet returned so you can work with the trunk without leaves impeding your view. Also, you get your wires ready just as the maple tree is going into a period of fast growth during summer.
- For Japanese red maple bonsai trees, avoid wiring your bonsai maple on the same year that it was transplanted. You only want to wire plants that are healthy and are already well established in their containers.
- Before putting the wire on your bonsai, make sure that it has been anchored securely into the soil.
- When wiring your bonsai, carefully and neatly wound your wire around the trunk and the branches. The ideal spacing is at 45 degree.
- Copper and aluminum wires are available in different thickness. Choose a wire that is both flexible and substantial enough to influence the growth of your tree.
- Do not leave the wire on for more than 6 months at a time. If you notice that your maple bonsai’s trunk or branches are growing too big for your wire, gently remove the wire to prevent deep wire scars on your tree.
- When bending trunks and branches, be sure to support the area being bent by wrapping it with raffia. Also, bend trunks and branches slowly and gradually to prevent damage to the tree.