Posted May 24, 2013 by Stefan Rausch in Techniques

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 from the base of a single tree. All branches should grow outwards towards the light and create an overall triangular shape and composite crown.

Advantages of clump style

Are the abilities to not conform to one specific set of rules. Clump style trees do not have to have a main tree or trunk like in a forest planting, but have the ability to be formed in inventive ways. This image is supposed to be one where each individual branch is trying to become the main leader. Branches can be wild and the form can be dense and full with lots of leaves and flowers. This is a great advantage because you can have a compact image with lots going on, very intriguing to the viewer.

Disadvantage of this style

Is keeping the image appealing to look at. We don’t want to see a little bush that has been hacked back for years with lots of stems growing from joints and from the bottom of branches. The main ideals of creating an attractive bonsai are to be held to.

All species of trees are applicable to this style. But the best images come from flowerings trees such as Quince and Jasmine. The flowers on these trees are superb and flower a lot of time without leaves, giving us a great view of the gnarly branching that is going on.

  • Juniper (Juniperus sp.)
  • Quince (Cydonia sp.)
  • Spruce (Picea sp.)
  • Ficus ( Ficus sp.)
  • Olive (Olea sp.)
  • Conifers
  • Jasmine (Murraya paniculata)
  • Japanese Zelkova (Zelkova serrata)
  • Brush Cherry (Eugenia myrtifolia)
  • Beech (Fagus sp.)
  • Crab Apple (Malus sp.)
  • Pomegranate (Punica granatum)

Stefan Rausch

Stefan Rausch was born and raised in Colorado, growing up hiking, hunting and fishing dominated most of his time ingraining his love for the Rocky Mountains. He started working with all types of plant material at an early age working his way up to a full time position in horticulture at one of Colorado's most premier country clubs. His brother saw this interest and soon invited him to a local bonsai show, this is where for the first time he saw the possibilities and artistic expression of bonsai and what could be done with local Rocky Mountain material. He is truly passionate about the prog