I have had this Cussonia for couple of years. As you can see on the picture, the branches grew somewhat unevenly (I marked the branches with a blue line). I am thinking how to trim it, so the bonsai won't become unbalanced and overgrow the space I have for it.

I was told by the store that I should trim it from time to time. However I am not sure how to do it. The main branch of the longest branch already developed a thick layer so no new branches can come out of it. I'm worried cutting it in the middle will cause this long branch to stop growing at all.

Cussonia Bonsai

  • There is a leaf attached less than half-way up the long stem, doubtless with a viable growth bud at its base. It is on the inside, though.
    – J. Musser
    May 19, 2014 at 0:33
  • Do you mean that that should be the spot where I cut it? In what angle then?
    – user1895
    May 19, 2014 at 18:49
  • I'm not really an expert here, but I would cut an inch up from the bud, to prevent drying, and cut off the stump after the new growth appears.
    – J. Musser
    May 20, 2014 at 1:04

1 Answer 1


Cut that tall branch about halfway up your blue line. I am sure there is a healthy leaf on the outside of that branch (you don't want branches that angle towards the center of the plant). Use a pair of by-pass (not anvil-type) hand pruners, sterilize them with alcohol and cut 1/8" above that leaf at an angle so water runs off away from the bud/leaf you are choosing as your new terminal bud. This is a bonsai, it is important to keep roots and plant in proportion.

Later, there might be an even better leaf to choose that is a little lower. Don't go crazy as this cut is at least a 1/3 of the plant and it might get stressed a bit. Pruning on Bonsais must be done a little at a time.

Most of the energy in that branch is at tip. You are cutting off that energy expenditure and all that energy will be diverted to the rest of that branch to 'lateral buds' you can't see right now. This extra energy will tell that branch to wake up more lateral buds...they are there. Careful and educated pruning will make your plant healthier. Take a bonsai class! They depend on you for everything. One mistake and it'll die. Bonsai are the furthest thing from 'natural'...learning to care for a bonsai will teach you an awful lot and humble you. Plants are amazing lifeforms! Very different than animals!!

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