Bonsai Glossary

Formal Upright:
Straight and upright typical of trees grown in open low land countryside. The branches radiate out evenly around a gradually tapering trunk. Heavier wider branches at bottom thinning and shortening towards the top. Informal upright: Curved trunk elegantly moving upwards and tapering. Branches as before.

Slanting:
A pronounced lean to one side and then turning upwards. Branches as before.

Semi Cascade:
The bulk of the trunk leans out of the pot almost looking like it would fall over, as in a tree over hanging a river. Prostrate varieties naturally cling to the ground and when re-potted with the growth overhanging creates this effect.

Cascade:
Representative of mountain trees handing down over an exposed cliff. The trunk falls out of the pot like a waterfall with elegant curves.

Literati:
A term evoking a minimal image of trunks and branches inspired by singular trees on horizons with striking silhouette with dead branches and a feeling of a hard life, and a tenuous grip on life.

Raft:
Multi trunks coming from a horizontal-connecting base. In nature caused by a tree falling over or suckering from the original tree.

Forest Planting:
As it’s name a group of trees in a form that looks likes a small coppice. Always plant in odd numbers and not less than 3. Always has a dominant tree and the others generally slopping away so in silhouette forms a mound.

Windswept:
Coastal areas of heavy wind cause a tree to lean away from the wind loosing windward branches and the others flowing away as if like ribbons on the other side.