is necessary to repot bonsai trees to ensure that they remain healthy and continue to grow well. Well developed fibrous roots are essential for balanced, even growth and these are produced by root pruning.
With a compact root system, full of fine, fibrous roots, the bonsai will be able to take up the nutrients which are essential for its well being. It is a misconception that root pruning is responsible for the dwarfing of bonsai trees, as this is achieved by branch pruning techniques. What the root pruning will encourage is more budding on the branches which in-turn will create a more 'tree-like' appearance. It is often said that what see in a tree above ground...is a reflection of what is under ground. The bonsai will usually be potted back into the same pot; but this another subject to tackle!
BRANCH & LEAF PRUNING [for Ficus varieties]
Use small, sharp scissors to prune bonsai. Only trim the stems, not the leaves, of a ficus as trimmed leaves take on an untidy appearance and turn brown.
Choose a style of shaping, including slanting and formal upright. Make a sketch of the desired shape and mark which branches need to be removed, including any that grow upright, cross one another or grow inward. Also plan to remove one branch in two that form directly opposite, creating an alternating branching habit.
Shape the ficus in the winter before heavy spring growth occurs. Start at the bottom of the tree and work your way up, following your sketched plan. Use concave cutters to remove the branches.
Apply a cut paste to the sites where you removed large branches. Ficus ooze sap and larger removal sites can cause damage if you don't seal the wounds with paste.
Prune new growth by pinching and cutting throughout the growing season to two or three leaves per shoot. If the ficus needs lengthening, filling in or height extension, allow some shoots to grow in the desired areas.
*[Please note that the 'recovery program' is free, but re-potting we charge at 150-200/- dhms; depends on the size of the tree, most trees work-out at 150/-]