I want to make a bonsai with a ginko tree.

The tree is two years old and has really big leaves that would not give a balanced impression on a bonsai. Just by googling "ginko bonsai" I can see that the leaves on such a kind of bonsai are generally twice or more times smaller than the ones on my ginko.

How can I induce the tree to make smaller leaves? Is it too soon to begin the conditioning?

1 Answer 1


I believe with ginkgo trees, leaf reduction is most commonly achieved through regular pruning in spring and autumn.

There are a few things to note however:

  • the leaves do not reduce by much, so they are naturally more suited to medium to large bonsai.
  • ginkgo trees don't heal well after pruning, so never cut flush to the trunk or concave. Leave a stub and remove it after roughly a year once it has dried out.
  • when pruning back leaves, cut back to 2-3 leaves in the leaf cluster, making sure that the top most leaf is on the outside of the branch.

To answer you second question, the recommendation for starting to train a ginkgo bonsai is by using a 2-3 year old sapling. So if you are happy with the progress of the trunk and nebari, then I see no reason why you can't start with your 2 year old tree.

Good care instructions can be found here and here. Good luck with it!

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