Bonsai Styles

Bonsai Styles

 

These are 5 basic bonsai styles.  Each of these styles can have many different variations, but we should start with the basics.

  • Formal Upright:
    • Straight trunk line
    • Apex is located over the base of the trunk
    • It is OK for the top to lean toward the viewer (bowing)
    • Formal Upright trees would typically be found growing in the open with no competition for light
  • Informal Upright:
    • Some movement in the trunk line (curves)
    • Apex is located over or nearly over the base of the trunk
    • Secondary movement toward the viewer
    • Informal Upright trees grow in a location with prevailing winds or in a location where the tree has to compete for light
  • Slanting:
    • Straight or curved trunk line
    • Apex is located significantly to one side of the base of the truck
    • Slanting style trees grow in a location with constant influences (wind on a side of a mountain or lake/sea shore, edge of a stream or a forest, base of a cliff, light only coming from one direction)
  • Semi-Cascade:
    • Trunk line of a semi-cascade is more horizontal than vertical
    • Less than half of the visual mass is located below the base of the trunk
  • Cascade:
    • More than half of the visual mass of a cascade lies below the base of the trunk
    • Semi-cascades and cascades grow in areas where high winds, heavy snow loads or rock slides can affect the direction of growth. ¬†These areas include but not limited to Canyon walls, cliffs and steep embankments
Formal Upright Larch
Informal Spruce
Slanting White Pine
Semi Cascade White Cedar
Cascade Juniper