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Becoming a Bonsai Master

We all know the basics of Bonsai gardening but that is only the beginning. To really grow a masterpiece Bonsai good styling skills are required. Styling in Bonsai trees can be broadly categorized according to the number of trunks the tree has which can be divided into single trunk and multiple trunk styles.

Sageretia Bonsai

Single trunk styling

Single trunk styling can be further classified into four types namely – Formal upright, Slanting, Cascade and Twisted styles.

Formal upright

The formal upright style is also called the Chokkan and should only be adopted by experienced Bonsai artists. If you are a beginner it is advisable not to go for this style as yet. It is considered as the most complex style of Bonsai trees. Tachiki, Hokidachi, Sabamiki, Saramiki, Sekijoju, Ishitsuki and Neagari are some of the sub categories in the Chokkan style.


The slanting style called the Shakan is more common for beginners to start with. In the Slanting style all the branches can come to one side of the trunk (windswept style) or a few branches will come out at the top while the main trunk is long.


The Cascade style or the Kengai has the bottom trunk below the pot. The other trunks are formal upright. Two sub categories called the Formal cascade and the Semi cascade are available in this type. These are also called the Dai Kengai and the Han Kengai.


The twisted style is called the Bankan which is a Chines favorite. This style is referred to as the dragon style as the tree coils itself like a dragon. Sub categories to this style include partially twisted and the octopus (where the branches twist around themselves).

Multiple trunks

The multiple trunks style simply means the Bonsai has multiple plants in the same pot. The styles in these types include Soju, Yose and the Korabuki.


With the Soju style there are two trunks in a pot.


Bonsais With more than two trunks are categorized as the Yose style. The Yose style also varies depending on the number of trunks in the pot. 3, 5, 7 and 9 trunks are called Sambon Yose, Gohon yose, Nanahon yose and Kyuhon yose respectively.


There are styles where the different trunks arise from a single root. A style called the Korabuki is also a part of the multi trunk category. The style looks very different as if the tree has fallen down and the branches of the tree look like individual trees.

Whatever the style of your bonsai gardening it is necessary to maintain them properly with professional loving care.

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