Types of Bonsai Trees – Appearance Variations
The Different Types of Bonsai Trees
Leisure / Hobbies / The Art of Tree Care
Bonsai trees have been around for centuries, and have been well-loved not only by royalty, but also regular people like you and me who are able to express themselves through the art of bonsai. Bonsai trees are categorized based on their general appearance. There are a couple of things that you should know about bonsai trees in general: (Image Credit: Bonsai 027, aurochstock, deviantART.com.)
1. Modern bonsai trees are wired with aluminum and copper wire. So, if you have a particular style in mind, you won’t have to wait for a decade or so to get the effects that you want. Curvatures of the trunk and branches can be achieved through proper wiring techniques.
2. Bonsai trees are derived from regular trees. They are not modified genetically to survive in small pots. The survival of these miniature trees depends largely on the skill of the artist and the amount of attention he gives to the needs of the unique tree.
3. Some trees are better suited for specific styles than others. Contact your local bonsai dealer, so you can select the best of type of tree for the idea that you have in mind.
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(Image Credit: Sweet Gum bonsai 273, October 10, 2008, Sage Ross, Wikimedia Commons.)
Bonsai Tree Types – Visual Styles
Here are the different types of bonsai trees based on their visual style:
1. Broom bonsai – A broom bonsai has a thick trunk with no dipping branches near the base of the tree. Broom bonsais have very thick foliage near the top. The branch formation is fanned, and all thinner twigs are removed in favor of the thicker branches. Ramification, or the strategic pruning of the branches, is still necessary to give the broom bonsai an expansive look. There are negative spaces in between the foliage and the upper part of the trunk to give the impression of age as well. Another variant of the broom bonsai does away with the negative spaces and the preference for thick branches. Thinner branches are allowed to grow around the trunk of the tree. This gives the bonsai tree an instant “3D” effect.
2. Cascade bonsai – A cascade bonsai is usually placed in a relatively tall pot to give the drooping trunk space to grow. Up to eight thick, short branches are allowed to grow from the base of the tree. Spacing becomes narrower as one approaches the “apex,” or in this case the end, of the tree as it cascades downward. Thick foliage gives the impression that the cascade bonsai is a few years old. Pruning must be done to preserve the shape of foliage, so that it does not cover the silhouette of the trunk.
3. Clumped bonsai – Clumped bonsais have a wide trunk, but are allowed to grow additional “trunks,” or woody branches, that have thick foliage of their own. With a clumped bonsai it will appear that you have four or more bonsai trees growing in the same pot. Methodical pruning should be done so that the foliage on each of the mini-trees remains balanced, and each mini-tree gets its own share of the spotlight when the bonsai is displayed. A wide pot is recommended for this type of bonsai tree.
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