Bonsai trees are ornamental and artificially dwarfed types of trees. Usually, they are grown and propagated in a pot or a container. When cultivating these trees, many gardeners face one challenge: weak and narrow branches. The process of thickening bonsai tree branches entails sacrificing some branches. It depends on the part of the branch you want to thicken, whether that is the lower part or upper part of the branch. Carefully select the sacrificial branch that you will allow to grow and thicken. When the select bonsai branch has grown and thickened, then cut it off. The gardener should repeat this procedure continuously for better results.
The Importance of Thickening Branches
The following are some of the importance or benefits of thickening bonsai tree branches.
Thickening the branches gives a bonsai tree an artistic reflection of age and strength. Proper thickening of branches and trunk provides a bonsai with a natural look. Thick branches in a bonsai tree will also look young or like a caricatured reflection of a real tree.
- Easy to trim and prune
Pruning contributes significantly to the structural end shape of a bonsai tree branch. A healthy bonsai tree with a thick branch has no problem coping with pruning. It is advisable to conduct maintenance pruning regularly or once every growing season, depending on the variety of bonsai tree you have. Trimming helps the bonsai tree branches to distribute growth evenly and thickly. Pruned bonsai branches are visible and easy to study.
- Tree Size
The selection of the bonsai tree’s branch size should be done with the design in mind; the gardener wants to shape his bonsai tree. When the bonsai tree is substantial, the gardener has less work to tend to, but it is very difficult to groom and grow. Selecting the right tree size will always motivate you to maintain it.
- Help in refining your work
Bonsai tree gardeners who have thickened their branches should be open to criticism annually. It makes gardeners refine and improve their skills.
- Strong structure
When the branches are of considerable thickening, they give your bonsai tree a robust structure. To maintain a good structure, you should water and fertilize your tree adequately as well.
Tapering is a technique to improve the thickness of a bonsai tree. Naturally, any growing tree should be thicker on the base than on the top of the tree. This characteristic is not exceptional on bonsai trees. Tapering helps in improving any irregularity that may occur when your bonsai tree is growing. Tapering increases the level of nutrient intake in the branches by enhancing the natural structure of the bonsai tree trunk.
How to Taper to Thicken Branches
Left to themselves, the branches of most bonsai are too thin. Here are several ways that you can use tapering to thicken bonsai branches.
- Sacrificial branches
One of the ways to taper to thicken branches is by growing sacrificial branches on the tree. Allowing branches in a bonsai tree to grow wildly without trimming until the branches attain the proper thickness is a suitable method of developing proper taper. Once the branches achieve adequate depth, they should cut and shorten them. For the best taper result, you start with the highest branches in the canopy and move down.
- Bend To Grow
It is a suitable method to thicken branches of a bonsai tree. This technique will bend the main branches downwards while bending the sub-branches upwards. After some months, this technique gives the branches a lovely taper, as the main branches will thicken faster than the sub-branches. Once you achieve the desired thickness, you should trim off the main branch.
- Cutting the branches
It is one of the best ways to thicken your tree branches and achieve a gentle taper. First, cut along the branch at a point where it has the thickness you want the branch to make. After cutting, you wait until the branch starts shooting sub-branches. You then wire up the sub-branches together to get a thick branch.
The shape of a bonsai tree branch and trunk is meant to catch your eye. Thickening your bonsai tree branch gives excellent results when the tree is still young. Proper maintenance of the bonsai tree improves its branches and protects it from drying.