The bonsai plant is grouped according to the style and shape of the plant as well as how it slants from the vertical axis position. The bonsai has four basic styles: the upright, slanting, cascade and semi-cascade styles. These styles are applicable mainly to the bonsai having only one trunk. The single trunk bonsai is the simplest bonsai which helps determine the shape and form of the bonsai.
The most basic style is the upright style, which can further be broken down into two – the formal upright and the informal upright styles. The simpler of the two is the formal upright style which possesses classic form. It is the most recommended style for beginners as the upright style is the easiest to do, especially when it comes to pruning the plant. The shape of the formal upright is round or cone-like, with a few branches sticking out from the tree from the front and back sides.
With the informal upright style, the branches’ position is the same as the formal, except that the top of the plant is bending a bit forward. The container best used in informal style should be oval, with the bonsai to be planted slightly near one end of the container.
The bonsai with a slanting style has a trunk bent on an angle. The lowest branch of the bonsai positions itself to the direction that is opposite to where the tree is slanting. The other lower plant branches are bunched into threes while the top part of the tree is leaning to the front. Slanting bonsais should be planted in the center of the container with a box-type or circular shape.
With a cascade style, the trunk of the bonsai abruptly bends on a downward position past the edge of its container. Containers of cascade style bonsai should be positioned on the edge of the stand to create space for the bending plant. Working on a bonsai to attain a cascade style can be difficult and requires more time to achieve. The basic procedure is to bend the plant forward while trying to have one branch in the back to take a vertical position while the branches on the side are on a falling position.
Lastly, in the semi-cascade style, the trunk is grown straight up to a certain point and then made to cascade down, but the angle is less abrupt than the cascade style. With the semi-cascade style, the foliage is not allowed to reach the container’s bottom or go past it. Instead, the bonsai should just grow past below the surface of the soil.
Whether you want to prune your plant, or have someone to it for your, or just simply buy a bonsai for yourself, it is important that you know the different styles of the bonsai. Such information can greatly help you in knowing how you really want your bonsai to look like and have its ultimate shape and form.