To prune or not to prune new growth?!


Good Morning fellow enthusiasts!

Last night I tapped into Bonsai Mirai’s live stream and it was amazing! I learned a lot and am even tempted now to get a membership to tap into the Kimora lineage teaching. Something that came up in his pruning discussion threw me for a real loop though and I am truly feeling bad that I may have been weakening my trees for the last 15 years in my practice and never even knew it! AAAAHHHH!

I have read all the books, even had a small apprenticeship, and how this always slipped over me I have no idea.

He was saying you do an initial pruning before the oxin in the buds burst to the two shoot pattern… Check. ( I knew that one)

BUT… Then the curve ball… You don’t prune again until the leaves mature and form the waxy layer called the cuticle??? WHAT?

I have always thought that to control growth we should be pruning deciduous as the shoots are sprouting rapidly? Especially on the pinching of maples, which he said to only really do this in the refinement stage of your maple.

He said you are really weakening your trees if you don’t let them form the cuticle because of energy something something… thats where I got a little lost.

Please feel free to chime in on this. I know there are so many schools of thought and different styles, But this is plant physiology and knowing this is just basic plant knowledge to speak bonsai.

Thanks for all the help,


(Jonas Dupuich) #2

In general, that sounds right to me. Frequent pinching or clipping on deciduous or non-deciduous varieties can cause weakness. Letting trees grow is what builds strength.

There are a lot of different approaches to pruning deciduous varieties depending on the variety and stage of development, but in general, these trees are pruned each fall, and sometimes there is an additional pruning in April or May.