How Long for Bonsai Wiring to “Set” & Is It Needed?

  • By: Josh Koop
  • Date: September 4, 2021
  • Time to read: 6 min.

So many people live under the impression that Bonsai plants are dwarf genetically. While in reality, they’re just like every other plant. To keep it miniature, you’ll need to use complex procedures and styling strategies. Wiring is one of them. Wiring is a technique that uses wire to bend and rearrange branches. 

In general, it takes around two to three months for a bonsai tree to achieve the ideal shape, but this might differ depending on the season and breed.

As long as you use the right wiring techniques, you can style and reform your bonsai plant in any shape that you like.

Want to know more about how to wire them and how long do you leave wire on a bonsai tree? Well, this article will guide you with the correct procedure. So, without further ado, let’s get right to it. 

How To Wire A Bonsai Tree?

To wire properly, you must follow a specific set of guidelines. It reshapes the branches like the brace reshapes the teeth. The whole process can be pretty tricky to master.  You can follow the guide below to master the art of wiring bonsai!

Selecting Wire

Two different kinds of wires are mainly used for this method. They are Copper and Aluminum wire.

In case your bonsai species is a fast-growing one, then an aluminum wire is less likely to work. The copper wire hardens once it is on a branch and holds it more firmly. 

Many prefer copper over aluminum as it is more available in smaller sizes. When you are purchasing wires for the first time, make sure to be careful about the size.

Don’t buy too small or too large wires that will not be able to reform your plants properly.

Bonsai Branch Single Wiring

The single-wiring method requires wrapping one branch of the plant with a single wire at a time. For single-wiring, you have to select the branches that you want to wrap up. Then, cut the wire into the same length of that branch. 

Start wrapping around the branch from the base to the top at a 45° angle. If you need to wrap multiple wires around the same branch or trunk, do so carefully without crossing them together. 

Bonsai Branch Double Wiring

The double wiring process calls for wrapping up two similar branches near each other with a single piece of wire.

After selecting the branches that you want to wire, start cutting the wire into the same length and wrap it around the trunk. This technique will provide more support to the branches.

You should wrap the wire around branches at a 45° angle to allow them to grow while keeping the new shape.

After wrapping all the suitable pairs of branches, continue with single wiring to wrap the remaining branches.

Bending The Branches

If you wish to bend your Bonsai downwards from the trunks, make sure the wire comes from the bottom. On the other hand, if you’re going to bend your Bonsai branch upwards from the trunk, then place the wire-like it’s coming from above. 

When you want to bend the outside of the branch, try to hold them with your fingers. Then bend it from inside with your thumb. To reduce the risk of splitting, you need to apply force inside of the branch.

Removing Wire

You can use any wire cutter to remove the wires. Wire cutters are designed in such a way so that it doesn’t damage the barks and other areas.

Don’t try to untangle the wires with copper wires; it might damage the branches of your plant. 

There are wire-cutting scissors available in the market specially designed for Bonsai. Keep this as an essential tool in your Bonsai toolbox.

If done right, you can make your Bonsai a beautiful piece of art and use it in the years to come.

How Long For Bonsai Wiring to Set?

The Wiring method of Bonsai reshapes the branches and keeps them in a miniature size. Depending on the breed and the time of the year, it can take around 6-10 weeks for the newly wired branches to set.

The wiring process of Bonsai plants can be pretty complicated. So many factors come into play in determining how long you need to leave the wire to set.

Seasons and healing periods can affect the time duration of wiring as well. Let’s have a look at how long you should wait for wiring to set, for different seasons and species!

  • During Summer and Spring: In summer or spring, the plants can have vigorous growth, and it can lead the deciduous branches to form their new positions within 2-4 weeks.
  • During Winter and Autumn: If you wire up your Bonsai during Winter or Autumn, in that case, it might take 2-3 months to fix into the desired position.
  • Fast Growing Species: Naturally, faster-growing plants such as Maple and Elm will require far less time to set into the desired shape during the wrapping process.
  • Slow Growing Species: Similarly, slow-growing bonsai plants such as Pines or Junipers require more time to fix into the desired shape at whatever time in the year.

Pro Tip: Keep the newly wired up plants out of direct sunlight for the first 3-4 days and water them as much as needed.

Don’t use the same wire twice. After removing them, if any branch wasn’t appropriately shaped, wrap them again with new wires and leave them for reforming.

Why Do You Need To Wire A Bonsai Tree?

The wiring technique is one of the best techniques that help show a Bonsai plant’s true artistry. It does a great job in developing the Bonsai in an attractive shape. If you want to reform the plant into a particular desired pattern, you have to wire your bonsai using the single-wire or double-wire method. 

Now that we have mentioned these methods above, you can easily follow them to reshape your plant according to your choice.

Wiring bonsai is an art, and it will also complement your decor in the best possible way.

Now that you know why do you have to wire a bonsai tree, you can turn your gardening hobby into art.

Essential Things To Remember While Wiring Your Bonsai Tree

Bonsai gardening is a very unique gardening style, and tending Bonsai is a never-ending process. That is why many people enjoy cultivating and styling Bonsai. However, there are few things you should keep in mind while gardening!

Pruning And Styling

Pruning is essential before and during the wiring process. It helps to grow the branches appropriately according to the wire set up.

It is also helpful in maintaining the bonsai structure as it removes the unwanted branches from the plant.

Maintaining Good Health

Before starting the wiring method, make sure your Bonsai is in good health. Wiring causes a degree of stress to your Bonsai.

So, it may harm the plant if it is showing signs of distress already. Moreover, wire training will not be a good idea if your Bonsai is unhealthy.

Try to take these simple factors into account while wiring your Bonsai. It will help you to have a better and desirable outcome.

Final Thoughts

There is no hard and fast rule for how long it takes wiring of Bonsai trees to set. Each type of tree has its own set of requirements and the season can also have an effect on this duration.

I hope this article on “How long do you leave wire on a bonsai tree?” will help you achieve the best possible outcome.

Thanks for stopping by! All the best with your bonsai project! 

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