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Editing Step 6 —

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Place the tree in direct sunlight. If the light seems too intense for young or delicate trees, hang a shade cloth to filter the light. Water as needed. Do not put your tree on a strict schedule. Wait for it to become mostly dry before you water.

Maintain the health of the tree, and begin to shape it, with simple pruning and pinching. Prune any branches that are less than healthy, or that stand in the way of the shape you’d like to make (Figure I). Pinching back new growth at the ends of branches will encourage thickening.

Before you start shaping the tree, allow it to grow until it seems well established in its new environment. Depending on your patience, this might be a season, or a whole year, or only a few weeks.

Feed the bonsai throughout the year. During winter dormancy, feed it a fertilizer low in nitrogen. When spring arrives, increase the amount of nitrogen, and through the summer use a balanced food.