Gardening Vivian | 30 Oct 2010 06:52 am

Different Types of Bonsai Trees

Growing your own bonsai tree can be extremely rewarding. Sure, it will take time, dedication and patience, but just one look at the amazing work of art that you’ve created will make it all worth your while.

Bonsai gardening originated from China, where it was considered more than just gardening – it was an art form. In those days, all the intricacies of pruning, pinching and cutting could take a lifetime to master. But today, this, once secret, knowledge has become freely available to the public and bonsai growing has spread all over the world.

If you want to start your own bonsai garden then you’ll first have to decide on a kind of bonsai that you want to grow. To help you with this, I have compiled a list of some of the most popular types of bonsai tress. Here it goes.
?br>Slant Bonsai Tree
This is probably the most admired type of bonsai tree. The idea is that the tree ‘slants’ to one side, while at the same time its main branch is growing in the opposite direction. The challenge here is that you’ll need to create a well balanced look and feel to the tree. If done correctly, the effect will be quite stunning. If done incorrectly, your bonsai will look like it’s about to fall over. And if you really mess thinks up, that’s exactly what will happen.
?br>The Cascade Type
?br>This one has a very interesting and unique look to it. Here’s the basic idea – the trunk of the tree starts growing upwards (as always), but then quickly turns and proceed to grow in a horizontal direction. It can go right over the edge of the pot, with its branches extending even below the pot surface. This type of growth will be too unstable for most of tree types. So choose one that has deep and strong roots and use a large pot with lots of soil. If you don’t, the whole tree might tip over. Junipers, Jasmine and Wisteria are some of the best plants that can be used for the cascade type bonsai tree.
?br>Formal and Informal Upright Bonsai Types
?br>These are the most basic types of bonsai trees you can choose. They are great for beginners who are still trying to find the right touch or learning the basic bonsai growing techniques. The formal upright is basically an upright growing tree, with nothing much going on. The trunk of the tree must grow straight up in a vertical line. The lowest branch should be the longest, with each next branch being slightly shorter than the one before it. Branches should alternate from left to right. That means that if the first branch points to the left, the second one should point to the right, the third one to the left again and so on. This will create a nicely balanced and visually appealing tree.

The only difference to the informal upright type of the tree is that the top branch of the tree isn’t growing vertically, but is instead tipping a little bit to the front. This gives a slight slant to the tree giving it a more organic look and feel.
?br>Windswept Bonsai
?br>I saved this one till last as it is my favorite type of bonsai tree. As the name indicates, the tree should look as if a strong wind is blowing through its branches. This effect is very hard to achieve, but if done properly it is nothing short of stunning. You will only need to see one windswept bonsai and you’ll understand just how demanding of an art form bonsai growing truly is.
?br>These are some of the most popular types of bonsai trees, but many slight (and not so slight) variations to the basic form also exist. Bonsai growing is after all and art form and even though there are many rules that you can follow, you should never follow them blindly. Try to find something that works for you and, above all, have fun.

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