Formal Upright Bonsai Style


Formal Upright Bonsai Style

Called Chokkan in Japanese, the formal upright style is based on a tree that has grown in the open under perfect conditions. It is the basis for all bonsai styles.

The trunk is perfectly straight and upright, tapering evenly to the top. The branches are in a conical shape, spaced evenly so they look balanced from whatever angle they are viewed. The branches are usually placed following a standard pattern: the first branch from the bottom is trained to grow to about a third of the height of the tree. The second branch is higher than the first and on the opposing side of the tree. Going up the tree, the branches become shorter and closer together until they taper off completely at the top. The top of the tree in this style is quite dense, and is trained to lean slightly forward towards the viewer.

The Formal Upright style is said to be the easiest for a novice to attempt.

Suitable tree species for this style are Junipers, Larches, Spruces and Pines

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