Bonsai Styles – Part 2

By April 13, 2017 No Comments



This is the second part on the subject Bonsai Styles.  Read Bonsai Styles part 1 blog before commencing with this reading.

Literati Bonsai style (Bunjingi)

Natural environment: In dense populated areas were individual trees have to grow higher to catch light.

A crooked growing trunk, mostly upward growing with no or few branches along it.  Some debarked branches called ‘Jins’ might be along the trunk.  Some debarked trunk called ‘Shari’ can also be visible.  Few foliage at the apex of the tree.  The apex might be above the tree base or outside the tree base.

Twin trunk style (Sokan)

Natural environment: In flat areas.

Very common in nature, were two trunks grow out of one root system.  One trunk will be more dominant than the other, growing larger and thicker than the other.  The dominant trunk will grow freely while younger trunk grows slightly slanting.  In bonsai the foliage makes one single design.

Multiple trunk style (Kabudachi)

Natural environment: In flat area with lots of light

Similar to the twin trunk, the multiple trunk style has three or more trunks coming out of the same root system.  One tree will dominate the others, with the other trees growing smaller as they grow outwards.  The foliage will have one single design with the dominant tree having the style apex.

Root on a rock Bonsai style (Seki-joju)

Natural environment: trees growing on rocky areas.

Trees growing on rocky areas needs to look for nutrients, so their grow long and exposed roots downwards.  They grow in cracks, holes etc, until they find nutrients in proper soil.  Growing this bonsai style needs some good preparations and a proper system.

Clinging to a rock style (Ishisuki)

Natural environment: Trees growing on rocky areas.

A similar style to the root on rock is the clinging to rock style.  roots grows in cracks.  In bonsai trees in this style should show weak trees struggling to survive.  The rock is often placed in a shallow pot with gravel and water.

Shari Bonsai style (Sharimiki)

Natural environment: In difficult weather conditions

This is not actually a style like the previous once, but a style that can be included in conjunction with other styles.  The ‘Shari’ is when the bark of a tree is removed to harsh weather conditions an sunlight will bleach the exposed trunk creating character to the tree.  In bonsai the ‘Shari’ is created by removing the bark with a sharp knife and the exposed trunk will be treated with an open fire and/or lime sulphur.

Exposed Roots Style (Neagari)

Natural environment: Floods, mud slides and avalanches

This is a different style since it describe the root system, the ‘Nebari’.  In other styles, the ‘Nebari’ radiant out of the tree towards the pot, but in this style, the exposed roots form the the legs of the tree.  This style can be found with other bonsai styles.

Weeping Style

Natural environment: Marshes are ideal for this style.

The weeping style can have different trunk styles, formal or informal upright, slanting etc.  The foliage hangs downwards.  Not all species are capable to design in this style.  Bonsai trees in this style should be trained by tying the branches to small weights to force them to grow downwards.


Martin Abela

Author Martin Abela

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