Root pruning

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Root pruning is the reduction of the root system that occurs during the periodic repotting of a bonsai. Pruning coarse roots helps the root system renew itself and become more dense. Fine roots are generally more efficient at absorbing water and nutrients than coarse roots, which primarily exist to anchor the plant and store energy in the form of starch. These are two functions that are not particularly important in bonsai culture.

Types of Pruning
Pruning | Drastic pruning | Defoliation |Pinching | Trunk chop | Thinning | Trimming | Root pruning | Root trimming | Decandling
Tools for Pruning
Concave cutters | Shears | Thinning shears | Decandling shears | Leaf trimmers | Scythe | Root cutters | Branch cutters | Spherical cutters | Knob cutters

Great tutorial on How to defoliate and Root prune a Ulmus Procera
Root Pruning Trident Maples by Shibui