Challenging the Bonsai A to Z entry for Defoliation.
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This is the process used to improve the density of growth and assist in the size reduction of leaves on a deciduous tree.
The defoliation process involves the partial or total removal of the established leaves normally in late spring or early summer in order to allow time for the new leaves to develop before autumn.
Complete defoliation should only be carried out every other year at the most, in order not to stress the tree too much.
The leaves should be removed by cutting with trimming shears at their base, leaving just the petiole (the stalk on which they grow) so that any goodness within the petiole can drain back and feed the dormant buds at their base.
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