Japan Day 2018 Countdown Part 2 (Bonsai tools and cleaning)

There are two days left till Japan Day 2018. I trimmed most of the trees that I will be displaying during the demonstration. I decided to write about the tools I have and how I clean them.

Here is a photo of all the tools that I normally use to style a tree during a bonsai competition. The tools you have may differ I only use these tools as I am comfortable with handling them and I know what results I get when using them.


I have a few more but those I use for repotting and digging up trees. In this photo you will see most of these tools are tools used to remove branches. Some of them are used to remove small tender growth while others are used to remove big bulky branches. The specialized cutting tools used to remove branches are made to fit perfectly in your hand and when you cut with these tools it leaves minimal scaring on the tree which makes it easier for the tree to heal over the wound.

Here I grouped the cutting tools in two categories.
Category 1: Fine Branch Pruning


Category 2: Large Branch removal


Cleaning Tools.
It’s always a good idea to clean your tools when your done with a tree as some trees have sap that’s very sticky like Ficus and Pines. Also if you transfer the sap from one tree to the next you could be spreading pests and fungi. After I used my tools I try and wash them it sounds like and easy enough thing to remember but after spending two to eight hours working on trees it’s harder than you think. I have this routine where I use my tools straight out off my tool box then when I’m done I leave them out so when I return the next day I know what tools need cleaning. I then clean all the tools that’s outside the tool box and then I continue with the rest of the tasks set out for the day.

How I clean my tools.
I wash my bonsai tools with dish washing liquid. I then allow them to dry. I then apply a small amount of oil to the moving parts as well as the blades (you can use sunflower oil just make sure to wipe of excess amount as this will leave a blackish substance behind). Just a side note to all fitness and healthy eaters out there you can not use coconut oil. This is a very bad idea as it hardens if it cools down. This becomes a great mess to clean. Applying oil to the blades prevent rust from forming on the blades. It also helps make working with the tools easy. If they are not oiled and stiff it makes working on trees more of a mission rather than an relaxing task.

Hope you enjoyed the brief mention of tools and how to clean them. If you need a more specific description of a tool you have. Leave me a photo or message below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.



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