Style Classification of Bonsais part 1

The twisted trunkBonsai means something growing in a shallow container, example a tree in a shallow pot. There are many types of styles in bonsais which are adopted. In styling bonsai it will be good to adopt some simple rules. First we have to decide which can be chosen as the front side of the bonsai. It will be nice to have strong roots extending to left and right side of the tree. It will be not be appropriate to have a thick root directly in front of the tree. This will spoil the whole appearance and style. Those twigs and branches that are not matching with the rest of the branches need to be pruned. A simple example is a very long branch standing out when compared to the rest, this can be trimmed to the matching height or can be fully removed if it is separately standing out. Many ways are adapted to style bonsai to the required taste of the bonsai owner / trainer, like wiring, bending, etc.

Bonsai styles classification

Bonsai styles classification is mainly based on

  • Shape of the trunks
  • Number of trunks
  • Shape of the roots
  • Shape of the branches
  • Composition

According to shape of the trunk

This is one of the basic types of classification of bonsai styles. There are seven types of styles that are found according to the shape of the trunk.

  • The formal upright
  • The informal upright
  • The slanting trunk
  • Cascaded trunk
  • Semi-cascaded
  • Coiled trunk
  • The twisted trunk

The formal upright type is where single straight truck tappers in thickness as the height increases, the roots are spread in all direction and the branches are well shaped and balanced. Generally very difficult to get the type in trees other than pine, this style resembles an umbrella planted in the ground.

In the informal upright style, as the name indicates, the trunk can be curved and can also have a slight slant. Many bonsais normally seen fit in this style please see the photos.

The slanting classification has the main trunk slanting well to even 30 degree to the horizontal with branches on both sides. This style is sometimes mistaken for windswept style by many.

In the case of cascaded type of classification the trunk so arched that the trunk goes below the bottom of the pot. The semi-cascade type the trunk does not go below the bottom of the pot.

In the case of coiled trunk, the trunk of the tree is extremely crooked compared to the twisted type where the whole trunk is fully twisted.


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