Guy wires or re-wire? Which is better for the tree?

I noticed some wiring issues on my dwarf alberta spruce. The wire isn’t heavy enough to keep these two bigger branches on the left drooping downward.

So, theses wires go to different places and are not connected to each other. Do I go ahead and remove all the wire and do it again? Add another wire to each branch? Guy wires to the soil or the pot?
I’m looking for minimal stress to the tree, so I’m reluctant to rewire, but…
Suggestions welcome.


I would probably guy wire and remember to use heavier wire in the future. It looks like you are in a training pot so it would be easy to connect to the pot. Dwarf Alberta spruce branches like to return to the upright position so you will most likely have several opportunities to rewire using the heavier wire.

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Yeah, the “pot” is a plastic tub from the hardware store with holes punched in the bottom. I was mostly wondering if guy wire would just be taking the easy way rather than doing it right.

Thanks for the advice.

I would go guy (guide) wire at this point because it is already pushing and odds of damaging are much higher.

I noticed this because it is something I am in the middle of leanring first hand. When wiring think about which direction ( down in this case)you want the branch to go and really work on the placement and initial point of contact between the wire and shoulder of the branch. Ryan talks about this a bunch but it has taken me lots of poor outcomes for it to become a major focus.

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Thanks. This is the first tree that I’ve done extensive wiring on. I know I’m struggling with keeping the wires in good contact with the branch, and I did a horrible job of cleaning and prepping for wiring. I also used aluminum wire for budget reasons.

So now I just need to do a few hundred more trees and I might start getting it right. Ryan does a great job explaining and showing good contact wiring in this stream…obviously there are the “wiring videos” but this showed it equally as well

Thanks. I’ll check that out. I also have a big eastern juniper in the yard from which i can steal branches to practice on.

Good luck and I actually practiced a bunch on indoor plants like angel wing begonias and now I have so real gnarly ones!

I have an Alberta spruce that I wanted to wire down the branches on. Copper wire, though expensive, does a much better job of holding branches where you want them because is has more strength than aluminum of the same size.

If your branches are not staying where you place them, it is because the wire gauge is not heavy enough to hold the bend. Although you may not want to hear this, I would recommend taking the wire off and redoing the tree, but it is probably better to do heavy styling in the fall. The branches will bend more easily, and the girth of the branches won’t thicken as rapidly as in the summer, meaning the wire can stay on the tree longer and you won’t waste as much wire by having to cut it off sooner.

Bonsai is for the patient. I started learning wiring from Ryan in 2020, and it wasn’t until now, in 2023, where I feel really confident and capable in my wiring, even with copper. In order to wire properly, you need to develop an “eye” so you can anticipate where the next stretch of wire will naturally fall and develop hand strength so that the supporting hand can keep the wire close to the branch while your other hand wraps. Practicing regularly helps develop you strength and skills and you will progress fairly rapidly.

Good luck, keep at it and remember that bonsai rewards those who work hard at learning it.

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Thanks. Because the tree is growing so rapidly, I’m just using guy wires in addition to what’s there. I expect the wire will need to come off pretty soon, before August, probably. Then just see what needs to happen in Oct-Nov.

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