Bonsai Tree Composition

Bonsai Tree

The art of growing a well-formed bonsai tree is best achieved by following traditional bonsai principles which strive for a natural presentation of how a mature tree looks in nature.

Bonsai Tree Balance and Composition

Flowering White Serissa bonsai tree
Tree of a Thousand Stars (Serissa)

The principles of bonsai are based on bonsai tree balance and composition. To achieve this:

  • The top of the bonsai tree, or apex, should look as if it has been sculpted by the natural elements.
  • The upper branch structure should blend with the lower branches of the tree.
  • Space between branches allows light into the branch structure and adds aesthetic appeal.
  • The lowest branch of the bonsai tree should be the heaviest or most dense branch.
  • The surface of the soil should look natural and can be enhanced by adding moss, lichen, miniature plants and stones that look like boulders.
  • The surface root structure and trunk buttress should be very strong to appear mature.
  • The depth of the bonsai tree pot should be approximately the same as the trunk diameter.
  • The style of the bonsai pot must match the style of the bonsai tree. For example, a rounded, weeping bonsai tree should be in a round or oval pot; a rugged, primitive-looking bonsai should be in a rugged, angular pot.

Learn more about Bonsai Care & Culture.

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