Multiple styles in one bonsai??

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Multiple styles in one bonsai??

Post  Mr. Kashmir on Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:01 pm

I am curious, are there bonsai which are trained to represent multiple styles? For example: can you combine "root over rock " style with an interesting trunk shape like the "windswept" style? And can any style or type of tree have a jin? I know traditional bonsai usually exhibit one specific look, conveying a specific message. I just didn't know if it was discouraged among the bonsai community... can anyone shed any light?

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Re: Multiple styles in one bonsai??

Post  Poink88 on Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:04 pm

I've seen a lot of rock planted windsweft with exposed roots, lots of jins, and deadwood (look for Pemphis Acidula for example).

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Re: Multiple styles in one bonsai??

Post  marcus watts on Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:48 pm

what an excelent question,

Yes you can combine some styles within a tree or planting and many trees exhibit 2 styles at the same time.

initially the named style indicates the main trunk so it will could be the familiar upright, informal upright, slanting,twin trunk multiple trunk, semi or full cascade etc. This defines the bonsai form and from there the foliage can add further to the style. The foliage can be windswept from prevailing winds, windswept from a breeze, or storm lashed - all are different ways to show the exact moment. The foliage could be weeping though so weeping would be a secondary style to the trunk, a forest could be slanting, a twin or multi trunk clump could be windswept, slanting or even have a semi cascading trunk (some amazing white pines are styled like this). It just needs to look balanced and believable to work as a bonsai.

Jin work well on trees that have harder or resinous woods that would actually survive rather than quickly rot. They also tell a story of old branches dying or being weather beaten so a lush image with lots of perfect leafy branches looks wrong with jins poking out all over the place, but would look fine if they were the lowest 'branches' on the trunk. Either the conditions grow a perfect 'meadow' tree, or they grow a struggling battered tree, but rarely both on the same tree. This does not stop you trying it on your own trees if you want to of course, but eventually you realise the tree is not as good as it could be.

cheers Marcus


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Re: Multiple styles in one bonsai??

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