The five basic bonsai styles

Earlier today I posted a blog on the four principles that I think are is important to understand. If you missed the blog here is a link:
https://bonsaiwithromano.wordpress.com/2018/04/11/back-to-the-basics-of-bonsai/

You should really read the link above before you read this one as it would give you more perspective on the topic as I will not be digging into the basic’s of each style. I will just be introducing each style. There are five basic style and under each of these there are sub divisions.

Formal Upright (Chokkan) Style
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This is one of the first styles and is also one of the most difficult to get right. The trunk of the formal upright is straight and tappers from the base towards the top. With this style the aim is to have a tree that resembles the tall trees that find in a rain forest. Trees that grow in this manner naturally are trees like the Californian redwood and pines if they grow in clusters or forests. The branches of this style grow in the standard left, right and back branch formation. The size of these branches decrease in size from the base of the trunk to the apex of the tree. The roots fan out from the base in all directions but never straight towards the viewer. This relays to the viewer that the tree is stable.

Informal Upright (Moyo-gi) Style
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With the informal upright you have all the features that the formal upright has. The only main difference to this is that the trees trunk has curve that decreases in size for the base to the apex of the tree. The apex of the tree is also directly above the base of the trunk. It may be slightly to the left or right but not more than fifteen degrees otherwise it get classified as a slanting style. The branches also grow in a left, right and back branch formation. The roots also fan out from the base in all directions except towards the the viewer.

Slanting (Shakan) Style
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The trunk of the slanting style bonsai tree leans either to the right of the left. The tree leans at an angle more that fifteen degrees. The apex of the tree will then be either to the left or the right of the tree. The branches also grow in a left, right and back branch formation. The branches must come out of the trunk at a angle and should not be horizontal to the floor. The roots of a slanting style bonsai is slightly different to the one of the formal and informal upright. The roots on the leaning side of the tree is compressed to resemble a pushing action from the roots to keep the tree upright. The other side of the trunk will be stretched out to create the feeling of a pulling tension on the roots.

Semi Cascade (Han-kengai) Style
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The trunk line of a semi – cascade moves up from the base at a forty five degree angle and then down towards the ground but not pass the edge of the pot. The branches for this style is the same all the other styles it just looks like the tree has turned upside down. Branches can be placed left, right and towards the back to create some depth. The roots are the same as the roots of a slanting tree. The roots on the leaning side of the tree is compressed to resemble a pushing action from the roots to keep the tree upright. The other side of the trunk will be stretched out to create the feeling of a pulling tension on the roots. The effects will just be a bit more dramatic.

Full Cascade (Kengai) Style
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The trunk line of a full cascade moves up from the base at a forty five degree angle and then down towards the the front of the pot leaning over the edge of the pot. The trunk can extend far over the edge of the pot as long as it does not look like the tree is about to fall over. The apex of the tree must come back up slightly as this will show that the tree is trying to reach for light. The branches for this style is the same as the semi – cascades branches. The roots are the same as the roots of a semi cascade styled tree. The roots on the leaning side of the tree is compressed to resemble a pushing action from the roots to keep the tree upright. The other side of the trunk will be stretched out to create the feeling of a pulling tension on the roots. The effects will just be a bit more dramatic. It is important that the trunk has a nice big stable base as this will make the entire design look stable.

Thank you for reading my blog. Hope you learned something new. All the illustrations used in this blog are my own. You are welcome to use it or share it as long as you give me credit for the illustrations.

Please leav you comments below.

#teambonsai

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