In nature, a tree can lean to one side when there is a prevailing wind direction, or when a tree is standing in the shade and growing towards the light. In the slanting style, the trunk bends along its entire length to the left or to the right. The trunk can be both straight and curved. Very strong roots grow in the direction of the inclined trunk. In this way, the roots under the inclined trunk are pressed into the ground. This gives the impression that the bonsai is firmly anchored in its pot.
A tree shape in which the trunk rises diagonally and flows largely to left or right. An important element is its pulling roots (roots protruding in the opposite direction of the slope) so that the tree does not become unstable in appearance.
In nature, trees are forced into all kinds of shapes under the influences of weather, wind and placement. Consequently, bonsai trees can have many shapes and sizes and, depending on their way of growing, they are grouped into various styles and shapes.
Maybe some shapes seem strange and unnatural, but they are all based on the way trees grow in nature. Each tree, however, has its own character and within a certain style there is still an enormous variety. Usually a bonsai tree is given its name according to its shape or the number of trunks it has.
The Japanese devised the coded styles less than a hundred years ago. These styles make it possible to classify the trees according to the shape of their trunks, their branches, their roots. To know the styles is an obligatory base for amateurs. Though nowadays, without renouncing these styles, more importance is attached to the artistic values of movement, harmony and the coherence of the tree.
Bonsai classification by height:
Mame: up to 12cm / 5 inch
Shohin: from 12cm to 28cm / 5 – 11 inch
Chuhin: from 28cm to 60cm / 11 – 22 inch
Dai: from 60cm to 100cm / 22 – 40 inch
Bonsai classification by number of trunks on the same tree:
So-kan: 2 trunks
San-kan: 3 trunks
Go-kan: 5 trunks
Nana-kan: 7 trunks
Kyu-kan: 9 trunks