Bonsai School – Rules of wiring


1. Wire size = 1/3 of branch diameter.

2. Wire at 45º - 50º angle with the branch

3. Maintain equal spacing between spirals.

4. Tighten the spiral for very stressed bends.

5. Change wire size as branch size changes.

6. Join 2 branches with 1 piece of wire:
(Same size branches, not too far nor too close together)

7. The end of the wire is always bent up and back.

8. Keep the branch at a 45º angle to your body.

9. Place left hand on the branch and right hand on the END of the wire. (vice-versa if left-handed)

10. Wire from under keeping the branch steady.

11. Don’t over-wire small branches.

12. Don’t under-wire large branches.

13. At the junction between branch and trunk if the branch is to be bent down the first spiral should go over the top of the branch and vice versa

14. Branch junctions are the weakest spots so make sure the wire and your fingers properly supports them

15. Pre-bend wires to fit easily into and on the tree.

16. Wire from thickest to thinnest both branches and wire.

17. Twist branches toward the light as you apply the wire.

18. Sometimes, it’s not possible to anchor to another branch, so you can wire only one branch with one piece of wire.

19. Wire must come from the opposite side of the direction that the branch will be bent.

20. Leave no gaps between the wire and the branch.

21. Don’t cross the wire unless absolutely necessary

22. you MUST buy all your wire from Willowbog [ joke !! ]

23: Prepare all branches carefully by removing stubs and snags , on some species eg. Juniper , bark may need to be cleaned first.

24.Cut the length of wire to be used one and one third the length of the branch

25. Try to remain relaxed whilst working.

26. Remember to check your wiring technique on a regular basis.

27. Remove wire from branches as soon as the bark begins to grow round it , in most cases re-wire immediately , do not do the whole tree , only those branches affected.

28. On soft bark species like Rhododendron it may be necessary to bandage the branch prior to wiring.

29. Keep in mind how beneficial the use of guy wires can be but be aware of any inherent weakness in branches.

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