A bonsai tree must be pruned regularly to maintain its size and shape. There are generally two pruning techniques: Maintenance pruning, which keeps the tree small and encourages growth, and stylistic pruning, which involves shaping the tree and is considered the art form behind bonsai. 

Maintenance pruning can be done all year, but structural pruning should only be done once a year, in the spring or fall.

Whether you want to prune your bonsai tree for maintenance or style, and regardless of the type of bonsai tree you have, all you need to get started is a critical eye, patience and Bonsai cutting tools.


Why is Pruning My Bonsai Necessary?

Many people will immediately respond, “So the bonsai doesn’t grow too big.” This is the correct answer. However, there are other reasons, as stated below:

  • To preserve the existing shape of the bonsai.
  • Bonsai pruning is necessary to improve the fine branching (ramification) of the branches and, as a result, the overall quality of the bonsai tree.
  • In most cases, the bonsai tree must be cut if it is to be completely redesigned.
  • Tp keep branches from weakening and dying.
  • to dispose of interfering or dead branches and shoots


What is the Best Way to Prune My Bonsai?

To keep a tree’s shape, it must be pruned regularly. Use twig shears or regular cutters to prune branches and shoots that have outgrown the intended canopy shape. Using the proper bonsai tools will be highly beneficial. Regularly pruning your bonsai is necessary to stimulate the tree to distribute growth more evenly and develop dense foliage.

Pinching pine trees and some conifers by hand rather than cutting with scissors is recommended. Pruning some conifer species with scissors, cutters, or shears can result in brown, dead foliage at the cuttings. To avoid this, carefully grasp the tip of the shoot between your thumb and pointing finger and pull it away. The shoot will automatically snap at its weakest point. Pruning and pinching requirements vary by species, and some require a combination of the two.

Defoliation is another method of bonsai pruning that involves removing leaves from deciduous bonsais during the summer to stimulate leaf growth. This method is used to reduce the size of a tree’s leaves while increasing ramifications.


When is the Best Time to Prune My Bonsai Tree?

Select a time of year when the environmental conditions are least damaging to the tree. It’s usually in the summer or autumn when the tree can recover more quickly. Extreme heat and cold can both harm the plant.


What Tools Do I Need to Start?

The majority of bonsai tools required by a beginner are cutters and shears, such as bonsai shears, concave branch cutters and knob cutters. Branch splitters and jin pliers, used in more advanced techniques, are also valuable tools for bonsai enthusiasts.



Pruning will become an essential part of your management and growth plan for anyone looking to learn the art of bonsai. Investing in high-quality tools and learning how and when to manage your tree will result in spectacular results!

Buy bonsai plants online through Bonsai Shop and start your Bonsai hobby today! Our store offers bonsai starter kits, ports, accessories, tools and bonsai trees for enthusiasts all over Australia. Shop our collection now!