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Bonsai Styles

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Bonsai Basic styles

A Bonsai is always inspired by trees in the nature. The trees are differently shaped due to sunlight, wind,placement etc. Here a few basic bonsai shapes which are popularly used today.

Formal upright style

Formal Upright is a form of Bonsai where the trunk is completely straight and upright. The trunk should have a taper from base to apex. This form mainly is seen in nature where there is no disturbance from other trees and where plenty of light is available for the plant.Mainly Coniferous specie is suitable.For our climate we can try it out with ficus Benjamina,Casurina etc.The Geometry of a formal upright is triangular.

Informal upright style

Informal upright is another popular bonsai form. It is used for most Bonsai . The trunk can be bent and twisted accordingly and this method can be used on most of the bonsai specie.This form is also very commonly absorbed in nature.

Cascade style


Cascade if is a form of Bonsai which signifies trees on cliff of a mountain bend downward against the direction of the sun.Because of factors, like Animals or heavy snow fall.Cascade Bonsai are planted always planted in deeper Bonsai pots so the bending of the plant doesn’t touch the ground.Such Style of bonsai is best kept on a tall stand.
Bonsai design - Tree Balance

In Nature, the tree is proportionate and well balanced.It has its own shape and form.In bonsai art the shape has to be given by Designer of the plant.But more than any style the tree has to look balanced and it has to have character of a tree.The pot and the plant has to be proportionate.Pruning,wiring and angle of placing the plant all these help in bringing tree to a shape.

Slanting style

In slanting form of Bonsai the trunk slants as if searching of light source or as if a heavy wind has blown over it. The trunk may be straight or bend . The roots must anchor the tree on one side to support the tree.The branches has to match the direction of the trunk.This form can be achieved easily while placing the bonsai in the pot.


Literati is a form of Bonsai where the trunk grows randomly upwards in search of sunlight.The branches appear on the top branch and there are no lower branches. There isn’t any specific trunk form for this style.this form in nature is found at place where are lot of trees the form a canopy and the tree has to grow the tallest to get the sunlight.Round container or oval container is the most suited for this style.

Root over Rock Style

This form of Bonsai is specially designed for plant which are placed on a rock.The roots grow over the rock into the soil.In nature such form can be seen in rocky and mountain place.

Multi trunk

A multi trunk bonsai is common grown style in bonsai making the tree look think and mature.The trunks in numbers more than two are developed at the base. The gap for each trunk at bottom is minimal while at the apex is maximum. Each trunk has different height and width to balance the proportion.

Forest style

This form of bonsai is inspired by trees of same specie which grow together in forest.The trees are planted in several numbers wgere all the trees are of different size.The trees are placed randomly to make it more appealing and close to nature.For this method bonsai pots with big length has to be taken.Mainly trees with smaller leaf is suitable.The tree has to mature before planting.

Wind swept

Wind swept style is a very popular form a Bonsai where the trunk and branches bend on one side as if heavy wind is blowing in one direction.The wires has to be used extensively to achieve this style and all the brached has to be bent pointing one direction.