SPRING WIRING: DECIDUOUS TREES. (May, 2011)
The middle part of May is a good time to wire deciduous, fruiting and flowering trees. Although heavy bending must be done with caution as the cambium can easily be separated in spring, slight cracks or light breaks in a branch will heal quickly because the sap is active.
Because deciduous, flowering and fruiting trees grow fast this time of year, aluminum wire works best for most branches while copper wire wrapped in paper works for heavier branches. Quick growth means that the wire will stay on for a short amount of time. Aluminum wire is easier to unwind than copper wire and it will not stain the bark or branches of these trees (this technique generally applies to tropical trees also).
Different styles of deciduous trees require varying degrees of movement. Attractive curves in the trunk and/or branches raise the value of these trees, including the subtle movement of Zelkova branches that rise from a straight trunk. The majority of deciduous and fruiting trees from nurseries usually have straight trunks and branches and poor nebari that is not suitable for high quality bonsai. One of the best way to produce quality deciduous trees is to start from small seedlings or cuttings and train the trees when they are young. After making curves in the trunk of a young tree, plant it in the ground to thicken the trunk and train the branches once the trunk reaches an acceptable size. The other method is to air layer them with new branches.
Most flowering and fruiting trees can be wired and trimmed at the same time(for refined trees only). The new growth left on the trees will be mature enough to carry flowers and fruit the following season.