Mangling branches

I continue to disfigure and break branches when trying to apply wire.
Species in question are various nursery stock pines. Wire is copper and has followed something like the proportional rules appropriate to the branch.
I’ve ruined every branch I have applied structural wire to this season. I feel like I’m supporting the branch with my offhand as I apply it but the wire always deeply gores the branch.
It’s my first big push to attempt to make trees bonsai and the bodies are piling up.


Are you getting properly annealed wire from a reputable source? And are you trying to ensure you bend the wire as little as possible prior to application?


Great questions!
I can’t really speak to reputation or quality of the annealing on the wire (American Bonsai Supply).
I do avoid working the wire before application.


Also, when exactly are you applying and what is the tree doing? If it is actively pushing growth and water transport is higher, there is a higher risk of damage. We typically wire pines in late Fall/ early Winter or sometimes in summer after decandling/growth has hardened off.


This is a helpful reminder.
I had tried some wiring in the fall/winter with a similar outcome, so I put it down until I could get more plant material.
I will have to try again in the fall.

You may want to get some aluminum wire and some cut off branches to practice upon. Good for getting the wire on smoothly and then working on setting the bends. I even use it as a quick warm up before getting into a tricky wiring job or simply switching gears from repotting to wiring. I have done quite a bit of wiring, but it sure has improved after watching the steams and practicing a bit.


I appreciate the advice.

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