In Nature, there are various tree species and each kind has developed different ways to adapt to climatic and environmental conditions to which they are subjected.
Trees can live by rivers, cliff rocks, and forests for example, or be affected by heavy wind and snow to mention some climatic conditions that obviously will determine what sort of adjustment the tree will need in order to survive.
The result of this phase of adaptation is visible in the shape of the trunk and branches which will assume some specific characteristic to cope.
For instance, a tree influenced by a high wind will tend to go in same direction of it in order to reduce its profile, otherwise the wind pressure given would snap the branches or even the trunk.
In the ancient Chinese, and then Japanese, art of Bonsai those qualities and characteristics of the trees to survive and adapt were reproduced and coded in specific style.
The most well-known styles are: formal upright, informal upright, slanting, windswept, semi cascade, & cascade.
But they are not the only ones, in fact there are many other styles for the Bonsai practitioner to work on such as: Literati, broom, forest, raft and so forth to mention some more.
In order to be quite successful in this practice – just in my opinion – it is important to understand which style is most suitable for the kind of tree you work on.
For example, a redwood (the tallest tree in the world) may be more suitable for an upright style based on its growing habits, while for a windswept, slanting, or coiled style conifers could be the best material to work on for their natural flexibility. Both scenarios reflect what you usually find in nature.
In addition, it may be worth letting the trees whisper to you what style suits them the best rather than trying to force something on it that may look artificial.
Styles can be very useful to give you ideas of what you could potentially achieve with your Bonsai but shouldn’t be seen as strict rules to follow; as we previously highlight, Bonsai is also an artistic expression and therefore quite subjective.,
Now bond with your tree and enjoy the Bonsai practice!!!