Part 17 of a series by Eugene Howell
Bonsai wiring is what gives the bonsai artist nearly total control over the shape and design of his or her bonsai tree. By using wire, we can implement a curve into a branch where there hadn’t been one before. We can force a branch to lean one way or another. We can even coerce branches to begin growing in a direction different from where they originally wanted to go.
Wiring can control movement in the trunk, branches and sometimes even the roots. Wiring is to bonsai what a steering wheel is to a car. It allows you to tell the bonsai in what direction to go (grow).
Bonsai wiring works because, when done properly, it allows the artist to bend a branch to a desired shape and direction. The wire itself holds the branch in the desired position until enough new wood is grown to solidify this new shape. But wiring can be both a blessing and a curse because if it’s left on too long it can cause terrible, unsightly scarring on a tree.