How to Choose Bonsai Wire
Or, what Bonsai wire should I get?
Wiring a Bonsai is the best way that you can style your Bonsai tree. It will enable you to create cool cascades, stylish semi-cascades, interesting informals and wonderful windswept Bonsai styles. Learning about wiring is an essential part of your Bonsai mastery training.
This post is about the specific wire that you will need.
First of all, there are two primary metals used in Bonsai wire, aluminum and copper. Aluminum Bonsai wire tends to be easier to use (especially for beginners) as it is a softer wire as well as bends and cuts easily. Copper wire is predominantly used by experts at Bonsai wiring and is a much stronger wire. It is able to work well on much larger trees that will require a more ‘strong’ wire.
If you’re new to Bonsai making, I would suggest that you get some aluminum wire as you will find this easier to work with. It’s also a little more forgiving in nature then the stronger copper.
Now, the thickness of what you want to choose. The thickness of the wire that you choose will be determined by the thickness of the tree you are hoping to Bonsai. If you are making a tree that will be a half a meter or so high (1.5 feet) then the trunk won’t be that big in the end. If you’re growing a larger Bonsai, you will need thicker wire.
The general rule of thumb is that the diameter of the wire should be roughly 1/3rd of the diameter of the tree you are growing.
This is not absolute – but just a helpful hint as to the size of the wire you should be going for here – none of that cheap 50 meter stuff you get from the hardware store.
Which Bonsai wire to buy? You can either buy standard wire from your hardware store or get wire that is specifically designed for Bonsai usage. Here’s a good option (aluminum) on Amazon, which is $10 for 2 meters. It’s not essential that you get proper Bonsai wire, but you might find it more helpful to get something that is designed for the purpose you will use it for.
Overall, you can sum it up as follows: aluminum for beginners unless your tree will be huge, and roughly 1/3rd diameter of the trunk and branches of the tree you are growing.