Styles and Styling
 
 
 
Pruning, Trimming, and Pinching
 
Oct. 2005: Here I am about to cut back the long sacrifice top branch that was allowed to grow freely for 3 seasons to gain more thickness for my future top!
Oct. 2005: Here I am about to cut back the long sacrifice top branch that was allowed to grow freely for 3 seasons to gain more thickness for my future top!
Oct. 2005: Here I am about to cut back the long sacrifice top branch that was allowed to grow freely for 3 seasons to gain more thickness for my future top!

The “Van Meer” Technique

1: What is the “Van Meer” technique? To put it simply: a technique that helps the healing over and closing of large cut wounds on trees! I tested and developed this technique over a period of more than 15 years on m...
 
 
Styles and Styling
 
forest
forest
forest

Bonsai Styles: Forest – Yose-ue

In Forest style we have a planting of many trees, typically an odd number unless there are too many to count easily, in a bonsai pot. The pot has very low sides, to emphasize the height of the trees, and may be replaced by a fl...

 
Styles and Styling
 
raft
raft
raft

Bonsai Styles: Raft – Ikadabuki

Raft style bonsai mimic a natural occurrence when a tree topples onto its side due to heavy winds, a flood, or soil eroding beneath the tree. Branches along the top side of the trunk continue to grow as a group of new trees. So...
 
Styles and Styling
 
clump
clump
clump

Bonsai Styles: Clump – Kabudachi, Kabubuki

Clump style bonsai should have three or more (an odd number) trunks grow from a single point. The natural equivalent might be a group of trees that have sprouted from a single cone, or a collection of mature suckers springing f...

 
Styles and Styling
 
twin-trunk
twin-trunk
twin-trunk

Bonsai Styles: Twin-Trunk, Two-Trunk – Sokan

In Sokan style two trunks rise from a single base. The trunks generally touch and may be joined to a short distance above the nebari. In classic Japanese style one trunk is taller and thicker than the other, and both are clearl...
 
 
Styles and Styling
 
clinging-to-rock
clinging-to-rock
clinging-to-rock

Bonsai Styles: Clinging-to-a-rock – Ishizuke or Ishitsuki

In this style the roots of the tree grow in matter contained within the cracks and holes of the rock. Trees grown in a rock roots will double in size if compared to the same age and size of a tree grown in a bonsai pot. This is...

 
Styles and Styling
 
root-over-rock
root-over-rock
root-over-rock

Bonsai Styles: Root-Over-Rock – Sekijoju

In this style the rock is at the base of the trunk, with the roots exposed to varying degrees as they traverse the rock and then descend into the soil below. This style takes time to develop, the roots of the tree must be growi...
 
Progressions
 
IMG_1015_resize
IMG_1015_resize
IMG_1015_resize

Ficus Green Emerald Technique

This root-on-rock tree has been with me for 15 years. I decided to reduce its height, and in the month of January, 2010, I performed an air-layer, to develop some roots that would serve to feed the tree when it was grafted. The...

 
Styles and Styling
 
semi-casdade
semi-casdade
semi-casdade

Bonsai Styles: Semi-Cascade – Han-Kengai

Semi-cascade bonsai styles are very similar to cascade styles except for the fact that the tip of a semi-cascading bonsai does not grow below the base level of the pot.. When styling Semi-Cascade style be sure to Balance the vi...
 
 
Styles and Styling
 
dirftwood
dirftwood
dirftwood

Bonsai Styles: Driftwood – Sharimiki

Also known as Shari Style in the U.S. This style portrays a tree with most of its trunk bare of bark; at least one strip of live bark must connect the leaves and living branches to the root system to transport water and nutrien...

 
Styles and Styling
 
exposed-root
exposed-root
exposed-root

Bonsai Styles: Exposed-Root – Neagari

In this style the roots of the tree are exposed as extensions of the trunk, free from soil. Representing old trees which over time wind and rain have exposed the trees grasp on the earth. In Neagari style the roots can extend a...
 
Editorials
 
IMG_4391-retouch
IMG_4391-retouch
IMG_4391-retouch

A Theory of Style

When I first wrote this post I wanted it to serve as a sort of transition between the raw mechanics of bonsai and the artistic aspects. Many of the disciplines we may call art are actually a blend of science and art. I use cook...

 
Styles and Styling
 
slanting
slanting
slanting

Bonsai Styles: Slanting – Shakan

In this style the trunk is straight similar to the formal upright style. However, the slant style trunk emerges from the soil at an angle, and the apex of the bonsai will be located to the left or right of the nebari.  This is ...
 
Styles and Styling
 
wind
wind
wind

Bonsai Styles: Wind-Swept – Fukinagashi

This style describes a tree that seems affected by strong winds twisting and shaping from one direction, this style is based on trees found high on a mountain top or on an ocean shoreline, The windswept characteristic can be ap...