Styles, Variations and Varieties of Bonsai

Over time, bonsai began to take on different styles, each of which varied considerably from one to another. Hence artists gradually looked into introducing other concepts and elements in order to form different aspects of bonsai. For example tray landscape, which is a total scene in miniature, or a rockscape which simulates a mountain scene.

The five basic bonsai styles are formal upright, informal upright, slanting or windswept, semi-cascade and cascade but remember they all have their own individual beauty and serenity.

Formal Upright

Formal Upright

This style occurs when it is grown in the open under good conditions. The trunk should be perfectly straight, with a natural taper from bottom to top. The branches should be symmetrically spaced so that the tree is balanced when looked at from any direction.

Trees recommended: Junipers, Pines, Spruces and Larch. Maples can be used also.

Informal Upright

Informal Upright

In an informal upright bonsai the trunk should slightly lean or bend to the right or left, but not towards the front.

Trees recommended: Most species of plants are suitable, Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum), Trident Maple (Acer buergerianum), Crab Apple, Cotoneaster, Pomegranite, Beech and most Conifer varieties.

Slanting

Slanting

Trees that slant naturally occur from conditions in nature such as deep shade or buffeting winds while the tree is developing. Whether the tree is curved or straight, the whole trunk leans at a definite angle. The supporting roots of the tree grow out on one side in order to support the weight of the tree.

Trees recommended: Most species can be adapted to this method; this style can be achieved quite easily either by wiring or simply putting the actual pot at a slant or angle to develop abnormally.

Cascade

Cascade

In growing Cascade style Bonsai the tip of the tree reaches below the base of the container. The trunk of the tree has a natural taper and gives the impression that the conditions in nature are forcing the tree to grow in this manner. The trunk itself meanders down the side of the pot which is reminiscent of the tree in nature growing down the side of a mountain.

Trees recommended: Many species are suitable, e.g. Cotoneaster, Pyracantha, Maples, Umbrella tree, Prunus Mune, Chinese Elm and Conifers are excellent for this style particularly Juniper Squamata.

Process: This style is particularly pleasing; the trunk which is tapered grows down below the container and twists with branches protruding in an alternating manner from the top down to the tip of the tree. This gives the impression of a meandering stream.

Semi-Cascade

Semi-Cascade

The difference between this style and the previous one is that the tip of the tree does not extend below the base of the container. The angle of the trunk is not precise, as long as the impression is angled down slightly off horizontal. If however the tree does extend below the pot then any exposed root should be very strong and balance the trunk.

Trees recommended: Many species can be adapted, Flowering cherries, Pyracantha, Maples, Junipers, Cedars, Cotoneaster, Cedris Deodora, Cedris Atlantica, Chinese white pine, Japanese black pine makes an exceptional example in this style.

Windswept

Windswept

Basically this is the same as slanting style; the only difference is that all the branches are protruding from the one side of the trunk. This gives the impression that in nature the tree has had to exist in very severe conditions, very strong winds which always blow from the same direction as in coastal conditions or on a mountain situation.

Trees recommended: Slanting style species of trees would be considered most suitable.

"Bonsai is the creation of living art and the blending of elements"

Copyright © 2017 Batemans Bay Bonsai
Site developed and hosted by Dan Services