BONSAI TERMS

Dictionary of Japanese bonsai terms

Bonsai styles ---

chokkan - Formal Upright

The chokkan bonsai typically has a single, upright trunk that tapers toward the top, branches are symmetrically balanced and well spaced.

moyogi  - Informal Upright

Moyogi bonsai have a single trunk like the chokkan,  but the trunk is usually curved. The trunk generally tapers toward the top like the formal upright.

kabudachi (multiple trunks)

sokan - Twin Trunk

sankan  - Triple Trunk

gokan  - 5 trunk

Two (or 3 or 5) trunks growing from the same root.  Usually one trunk is the largest and is referred to  as the parent. Good conformation is based on the   aesthetic balance of the smaller 'children' to the  parent in trunk thickness.

shakan Slanting

A single trunk, similar to the formal and informal  upright, but cultivated with the trunk growing at  an angle other than 90 degrees to the ground.  Branches are again balanced and well spaced.

 

netsuranari sinuous

sinuous bonsai have multiple trees growing from a  single sinuous root. 5 needle pine are most commonly used for this style.

 

neagari exposed root

Roots growing up out of the ground, suspending the trunk in the air characterize this rare style of bonsai.

 

ikada raft

Similar in effect to netsuranari, but typically with one straight horizontal root joining the trees. This is usually accomplished by burying a larger tree horizontally and then training each branch as a separate tree.

fukinagashi Windswept

Similar to the slanting style, but all of the branches are swept in one direction as though it were growing in a place with a strong constant prevailing wind.

 

kengai cascade

An unusual form where the trunk and branches arch and 'cascade' over the edge of the pot. Usually planted in a deep pot to give balance to its unusual form.

bunjingi literati

upright or informally upright trunk bare of branches except at the top, characterized by a tasteful  simple elegance. hokidachi broom broom style trees have an upright trunk, with branches evenly fanned out. It resembles an old fashioned broom standing on its handle.

yose-ue Group

A group planting of distinct separate trees, representing a grove, or forest. ishitsuki rock-grown There are two basic types of rock grown bonsai, root grasping the rock, where the roots do enter the soil the rock is protruding from, and on, or in the rock, where the tree is planted in a pocket of earth attached to the rock, or in a hollow in the rock.

Growing techniques

misho -  grown from seed

yamadori  - collecting plants from nature

sashiki  - grown from cuttings

tsugiki  - grafting

toriki  - layering and dividing

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