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How to get a Bonsai Tree to Grow Straight Up?

Australia | General information | Popularity - 0/10
Vertical or upright is the principal shape of most bonsai, and there are two compositions under this heading, formal and informal.
Informal (Moyogi) is the most common both in bonsai and nature. The trunk of a tree grows upright, giving the appearance of a slightly crooked ‘S’ shape, with the branches appearing at each turn. The trunk visibly tapers at the top and is thicker at the base.
Formal (Chokkan) is also seen in bonsai and nature, but the tree is more rigid or straight. At the base, it has a thick trunk, and the higher you go, the smaller the branches become, and the thinner the tree looks - a bit like a Christmas tree. Bonsai Tools for Beginners
Pruning and wiring are the fundamental techniques for creating the beautiful shapes of bonsai trees. You wire a bonsai by wrapping bonsai wire (anodized aluminium or annealed copper) around the root, trunk, or branch until it forms the required position. The wire should remain in situ for at least six months to allow the tree to continue to grow in this position and become permanent.
Wiring a Formal (Chokkan) Upright Bonsai
1. Lightly dust off the excess dirt from the tree base area so that there is an equal number of roots exposed around the entire tree. Roots should emanate uniformly from the tree trunk; be sure to wire roots that are not facing in the right direction.
2. Using either anodised aluminium or annealed copper, wire the trunk into the desired shape.  Push the wire into the soil at the base of the bonsai. Then in a clockwise motion, wrap it around the trunk. Make sure you hold the tree trunk in the required position as you wire to retain the shape. Eventually, the wire alone will hold it steady. Once finished, leave the wire in place for approximately six months and then remove it. If needed, a bonsai bending jack can be used to straighten the bonsai. It is a specialised tool that has two padded hooks at each end and an adjustable screw/bolt type mechanism in the middle. The jack is designed to shape or straighten the more difficult or thick parts of a bonsai.
For bonsais with a lot of bends and kinks in the trunk and branches, it may require gradual straightening for one or two years. Firstly, dealing with the more apparent kinks, and then moving to the smaller bends over time, as the problem is slowly corrected.
3. Using sterilised bonsai clippers, prune the branches into an appropriate arrangement. The primary branch should start about a third or halfway up the bonsai. The next should be on the adjacent side of the tree, just a little further up from the first one. Each following branch should be on the opposite side to the last, and so on. As the branches get higher, the distance between them should reduce, so it becomes more densely packed together.
4. Using your bonsai wire, fix the branches in the required position/shape. Each should be at a 90-degree angle from the trunk, or with a slightly downward facing posture. To wire a branch in the downward position, first, wrap your wife around the trunk, then over the top of the branch. For upward wiring, again wrap the wire around the trunk, then below (under) the branch and over the top.
5. Then, prune branches at varying lengths, starting with the longer ones at the bottom, and gradually shorten as you come to the top of the tree. This kind of pruning is known as “style pruning” and is intended to alter the shape of the bonsai. Any style pruning must be done at the start of the Spring or close to the end of Fall. DO NOT prune any more than one-third of the foliage at any given time. Wound paste can be used on the larger cuts to stop any infection.
Wiring an informal (Moyogi) Upright Bonsai
1. When potting an informal upright bonsai, be sure to keep it at a slight angle.
2. Following Step 1 above (Formal Upright), remove the dirt from the trunk by carefully dusting it. The roots should be radiating from the trunk. The strongest must be on the opposite side of the trunk and direction in which it is growing. Gently, using annealed copper wire or anodized aluminium, wire the roots which are pointing the ‘wrong’ way. This kind of wiring can be achieved by carefully removing the root dirt and wrapping the wire around the trunk and the top of the root.
3. It is essential to wire the trunk, so it shifts and begins to grow in the opposite direction. It is best to do this at the midway point to the leaves. Push the wire into the ground at the bottom of the bonsai, then, in a clockwise motion, wrap it around the trunk. As you start to wrap, hold onto the trunk, so it remains in place. Once the bonsai has assumed the correct position, the wire should hold it up. Leave the wire in place for approximately six months, then remove it. If the trunk of your bonsai is too thick to bend, you may need to cut it directly above the point where you want to shift its angle. New branches will sprout from below the new cut. One of those new branches must be chosen to be the lead. You can also train this new lead branch with wire.
4. When pruning the branches of your bonsai, the first one can extend either to the left or right. Next and each subsequent branch should alternate from one side of the tree to the other. Prune the branch tips so that they gradually become shorter as they move up to the top of the tree.  Bonsai Set Tools
For successful pruning you will need:
Bonsai wire (anodized aluminium or annealed copper)
Tips: With formal upright bonsais, tapering is extremely difficult to achieve. To succeed in tapering your formal upright bonsai, cut the top off the central trunk every year. Each new growth will increasingly become smaller. Accomplishing a good taper can take many years.
Bonsai aficionados lean towards spruce, larch, and pine when choosing formal upright arrangements. Virtually all species of conifer are suitable for informal upright bonsai, as well as some beech and maple varieties.
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