As bonsais do not typically grow in the fashion that is desired by those making bonsai designs, bonsai wire is used to train the branches of the young tree how to grow. However, there are some things that you should consider before you begin to use bonsai wire to shape the branches and trunk of your tree.
When you use bonsai wire, you are effectively damaging the tree. When you bend the branches of the tree into the desired shape and secure them with wire, you are damaging the cells of the tree.
Using Wire to Design Your Perfect Bonsai
The branch or trunk is trained to its new location by having the damaged cells heal. When they heal, the tree branch will grow in the shape you want, as that is how the cells are now formed. When you secure a branch with bonsai wire, it is important that you do not damage the tree so badly the branch breaks or the wire cuts into the bark of the tree.
Both of these problems will permanently damage the appearance of the tree.
Bonsai wire should only be left in position long enough for the tree to be trained to the proper form.
Once it is in the design you desire, the wires should be carefully removed. If you wired your tree properly, there will be no evidence that the tree had undergone bonsai wire design.
The hardest part of using bonsai wire is knowing which size wire to use. The wire can come in various sizes, from thin wires suitable for small dwarf seedlings, to thick wire designed for outdoor trees.
Knowing which type of wire to use can be one of the most challenging aspects of bonsai tree design. If you do not have wire that is strong enough for your size of tree, it is very easy to rectify.
You can use a smaller wire that is double layered. This will provide equal strength to the thicker bonsai wire and do no extra damage to the tree. This is extremely convenient, especially if you already own wire for a smaller tree and want to work on a tree that has since matured.
You can purchase bonsai wire from specialty stores and nurseries.
Some hardware stores will also supply the bonsai wire you are looking for. Bonsai wire can come in either silver or brown, depending on whether you want to still be able to show your bonsai while it is being trained.