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  • Kimberly Halter

Trimming

Updated: Mar 4, 2019

Summer maintenance

If you’ve been away on summer holidays, and you have a good neighbour who has been watering your #bonsai collection for you, then you may return home to find that there are many tasks to be done to keep your bonsai's in shape.

Summer maintenance consists of:

  • Watering the tree frequently

  • Move the tree under shade if the temperature is over 34 degrees celcius (93 degrees fahrenheit)

  • Let the tree grow, then trim to maintain the shape.

  • Continue with half strength liquid fertiliser once every week or two.

  • Watch for bugs and spray with insecticide approximately every two weeks

  • Watch for wires cuts and remove wires.

For example, this Lilly Pilly is very happy and healthy, but she needs a trim to regain her shape. This tree reminds me of “Cousin Itt” (the relative with the long hair) from the Addams Family).


Example 1 - Lilly Pilly



Five years in training as a bonsai, informal upright style, 30cm high.



















After about an hour of trimming, I can finally see the bonsai shape hidden underneath the #foliage.

However, more trimming is required to regain the triangle shape that is one of the essential elements of bonsai design.








































There, that is better. Informal upright design.

Lilly Pilly, 5 years in training, Fluffy white #blossoms turn into small red berries.

















Example 2 - Azalea


#Azalea, informal upright design, in training 10 years.

This azalea is very full. Trimming the foliage will allow air and light to reach the interior. I will also have a chance to refine the branch structure.














After trimming. I can now see the structure, but more trimming is required to regain the triangle shape that is desired in a mature bonsai.



































Now I have trimmed to regain the triangle shape. The apex is still a bit high, but I want the top to grow to add width to the trunk. I will probably cut the top in 2 years’ time.

Although I have cut a lot of foliage off of this tree, the light can now reach the interior branches, and in only two weeks, the interior is full of fresh new foliage, as you can see in the photo below.












So, in summary, summer maintenance consists of:

  • Watering the tree frequently

  • Move the tree under shade if the temperature is over 34 degrees celcius (93 degrees fahrenheit)

  • Let the tree grow, then trim to maintain the shape.

  • Continue with half strength liquid fertiliser once every week or two.

  • Watch for bugs and spray with insecticide approximately every two weeks

  • Watch for wires cuts and remove wires.

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