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Tip of the Week  #13

The Right Tool For The Job.

Welcome to our next installment of  "Tips Of The Week".

This feature is for the benefit of visitors to this site, I would be happy to hear from you if there is something you would like to see covered here in future weeks. Please direct your E-mail to let me know if I should include your first name, last name, city, E-mail address or no acknowledgement.

Interested in past articles? There's a list at the bottom of the page.

So you just got your first bonsai, and you're wondering what tools you need. The answer is "probably none". If you have just been introduced to this wonderful hobby, your first priority is learning to keep you bonsai alive & healthy. After a few weeks or months (depending on the type of tree) your bonsai may need some trimming. That's the time to start considering the need for tools, and which ones you may need. The most basic tool is a scissor. There are a number of types, and it's important to know which type is best for your needs.

There are trimming shears which have large loops that your whole hand will fit into. The blades are generally short and thick. They are designed for coarse cutting of foliage and thin to medium branches. Another type is the bud scissor which has small loops that are for one finger. They are longer and have long, narrow blades. They are designed for fine cutting of foliage. The long narrow blades allow you to get into places where trimming shear will not fit. For trees with a large number of leaves, there is the leaf cutter which looks like a tweezer with small blades at the end. It is used where you have to make dozens of little cuts. The design allows you to do so with a minimum of fatigue.

Then, there is the concave branch cutter. This is an amazing tool. The blades are designed in a way that will actually scoop out a small amount of wood when removing a branch. This makes a smooth cut that will overgrow with bark much more rapidly. Knob cutters are made for removing stumps and bumps from the tree trunk and thicker branches. It works similar to the concave branch cutter.

Root hooks are a blessing when re-potting a bonsai. They aid in the opening of the root ball. There are one, two, and three finger types. For cutting larger branches, there are bonsai saws, designed to make smooth cuts with a minimum of damage to the bark. A bonsai turntable will make working on medium to large bonsai much easier.

The list goes on and on and on. There are actually tools designed for working on a specific type of Japanese Azalea. The important thing is using the right tool for the job you're doing. If you want to get an idea of what's available, take a look at the tool pages of our product catalog. If you have a question, you can direct it to As always, we are here to help you in any way we can.

Interested in past articles? Click for your choice below.

#1-Things to do in the spring

#2-Forest Plantings

#3-Planning a trimming schedule

#4-Trimming Japanese Maples (And other trees with opposing Buds)

#5-Trimming Chinese Elms (And other trees with alternating Buds)

#6-Trimming Conifers (Such as Pine, Juniper and Cypress)

#7-Improving Your Bonsai Skills

#8-Things to Remember During the Winter Months

#9-Some Thoughts About Tree Roots. Their Strengths & Weaknesses

#10-Potting Medium: The Foundation of a Bonsai

#11-Growing Bonsai Under Artificial Light.

#12-The Importance of Moss, How To Get It & Put It On a Bonsai.

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