Bankan | Coiled style

Coiled style – This twisted style is probably the closest to what came from China; often called the ‘dragon style’ (or ‘green dragon’) it is a favorite in Chinese bonsai and is an auspicious presence in the garden. The mystical Chinese dragon symbolizes good fortune and prosperity and in this style the tree coils around itself like a Chinese dragon. The bark appears to twist and wind its way up the trunk, much like a snake coiling its way up a branch.

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.