Bonsai/Elements of good bonsai

A good bonsai is one, that looks just as if it were a real, big tree, just smaller. The idea is to symbolize and simplify the look of a natural tree.

Stem Composition


When your tree is ready to be shaped into a bonsai, the first thing to do is to choose a front side. This side should be the one people should look at if your bonsai is ever displayed. Then, choose what style your tree should be in. Deciduous trees are probably not as qualified for Bunjingi, Kengai, and Han-Kengai as coniferous ones, but you can experiment. Try looking at some trees in nature, try drawing them. That will give you a feel for what looks natural, for what doesn't. If you have chosen a style that fits your tree well, (feel free to make up your own) choose a large, sturdy branch about one third up from the bottom of the stem. It should point to the right or left of the tree, never to the back or front. Reduce this branches length to 6 to 8 times the stems diameter at its thickest point. Remove all branches below this one to make the stem visible. The second branch should be pointing to the opposing side of the first one. The third one should point to the back to give your tree some depth. All other branches will follow in this manner: side, other side, back, side, other side…