Bonsai Tool Kit Essentials – Everything You Need to Know
The art of bonsai is a delicate and precise one, and no artist is complete without their bonsai tool kit! Have you recently purchased a bonsai tree and need some advice on what tools you’ll need? Then take a look at our rundown of bonsai tool essentials that will get you on your way to perfectly pruned trees in no time.
Root rakes are a great technical tool to delicately stir the soil around your plant’s root and evenly distribute the soil around the roots. This can also act as a helpful boost to stimulate your tree’s growth. Some rakes will have a flat spatula on the end of them, and these can be used to tamp down the soil or for moss or weeding work. You can alternatively opt for a rake with a tweezer end as an additional tool in your kit. This tweezer feature can be used for delicate work, such as bud selection (deciduous trees), shoot pinching and needle pulling (pines.) Usually made from stainless steel, these rakes are durable and compact and are a must for your bonsai tool kit.
Bonsai root hooks are great for targeted pruning and are a really important part of your toolkit. The use of root hooks is a handy way to work with teasing older soil from your bonsai’s root ball prior to root pruning, and with some patience and delicate handling, will . Root hooks will also assist in untangling those delicate roots during re-potting, making the process much easier! Designed to last, root hooks are typically made with sturdy handles of wood or plastic and will fit neatly in a compact tool kit.
Trim up your tree using bonsai scissors that are designed to help snip and prune those hard to reach areas on your bonsai. The blades and handles on bonsai scissors are shaped to be longer and so easier to cut the tree’s branches. The blades are also sharpened to effectively cut roots, branches, green shoots and twigs to ensure they cleanly cut rather than tear. This type of tearing of the bark will often cause damage, so it’s important to take care when you’re using your scissors!
A bonsai sieve is a must, especially for repotting and for mixing your own soils. As we recommend you use a specialist bonsai soil for your tree, it’s great practice to use a sieve to sift through your soil. (This Bonsai2U soil is a special blend that is mixed in the nursery and is equal parts Japanese Akadama, Japanese Pumice and John Innes Soil.) Repotting is a huge part of growing bonsai, and sieves can be used to separate soil, gravel, mulch, akadama, and grit and can also be used to remove fine compacting dust that causes drainage blockage in your pots. Grading your soil with larger particles towards the bottom and finer particles towards the top is recommended for better air flow and drainage.
Keep your bonsai tree (and pot!) clean by using specialised brushes to gently remove debris from your tree without causing any damage. There are a variety of brush types made from different materials that you can try, with each one offering something different. Try out a softer, nylon-bristle brush for gentler brushing, or use a harder brush that’s made from metal for tougher removals (like on its bark). For instance, you can use these sturdier brushes to remove moss, lichen and other debris from your bonsai tree to ensure your tree remains healthy. You can also use a coco bristle brush for a gentle but effective polish on your tree and also on your bonsai pot. If you are re potting or working with soil, these soft coco brushes are handy for saving on any wasted soil by sweeping up any that’s loose or escaped and popping it back in the pot.
Knob and Branch cutters
Pruning and trimming your bonsai is an integral part of bonsai styling and general care, but something that must be done with attention to detail. It’s crucial you use the correct tools if you are going to make any cuts to the flesh of your tree and so you’ll need sharp knob or branch cutters to get the job done. With a rounded cutting edge, you can use bonsai knob cutters to cut deeply into the trunk of your bonsai, where needed, which will allow for smooth callusing and proper healing. It’s widely known in the community that knob cutters allow for the bonsai to heal faster after cutting branches.
Full Tool Kits
If you’re ready to jump into comprehensive care for your bonsai, we recommend our 14-piece bonsai tree tool kit, complete with a zip-up carry case. Made from carbon steel, our kit has everything you need to get your bonsai into top condition and maintain it and allow for your tree to fulfil its destined long lifespan. From hooks and brushes to knob cutters and sculpting tools, you’ll want to make sure your collection contains these tools for effective care of your tree.