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How Do You Start a Bonsai Tree? Properly Initially Styling a Pre Bonsai

Trimming Chinese Elm Bonsai

How Do You Start a Bonsai Tree?

To Start a Bonsai the first thing you need to make sure that your bonsai pot has proper drainage.   First we prepare our pot by placing drainage mesh over the holes.

Potting a Bonsai Tree
Take note of the two smaller holes next to the drainage hole. These are to a tree down with training wire
Start a Bonsai Tree
This small 6″ ceramic pot has two large holes for drainage.

Styling Starter Bonsai Tree

The Chinese Elm has a stable root system,we won’t need to anchor it.  We will be using premium lava rock bonsai soil.  This gives excellent drainage and is porous enough to absorb a good amount of water.

Create a Bonsai Tree




We lay down a thin layer of our lava rock substrate just to cover the bottom of the pot.  We remove the tree from its plastic bonsai pot.  This tree had many new white feeder roots.  It is important to keep these feeder roots intact when removing the old soil.

Wiring Chinese Elm
Wrap the wire once around the trunk. At the base of the branch anchor the wire then at a 45 degree angle down the length of the branch.



Properly Initially Styling a Pre Bonsai – Wiring Branches to Create Movement

When using wire to shape a branch you want to use a gauge of wire that is roughly 1/3rd the thickness of the branch.


Trimming The Shoots of New Growth Encouraging an Intricate Branch Structure

I trim back the shoots of new growth on Chinese Elm and Japanese Elm Bonsai to 2 or 3 sets of leafs.  However I wait until they have developed thick hardwood on the section we are

Trimming a New Bonsai Tree

cutting.  If the growth is still soft and green allow the new growth to get longer.  On this tree the shoots where about 10-12 sets of leaf


long.  If the branch is hardwood it will ramify (split) at the cut point.


Watering Your New Bonsai TreeWatering Bonsai Trees

It is very important to make sure this new dry lava rock soil absorbs enough water.  Water fully until you see water drain from the bottom of the pot and repeat.  Follow this link for our detailed guide on how to Watering Bonsai Trees