Names and Types of Bonsai Trees
|Picture of a Bonsai Tree|
Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica) Bonsai
Bonsai trees can be grown from many different species of trees, shrubs, herbs, succulents and vines. It should be understood that Bonsai trees are not a species of tree, rather a type of growth form and method applied to any species that can be grown in a miniaturized state. The word "Bonsai" ( 盆栽, "tray gardening", in Japanese ) describes a Japanese form of art, a practice of long-term cultivation and shaping of one or more small trees growing in a container to mimic the shape and characteristics of its natural full size growth habit on a small scale.
There are names given to Bonsai trees for different growth styles, see Bonsai Style Types, lower down on this page.
Bonsai trees are also given Japanese names for different sizes of tree, see Names of Bonsai Size Types, on this page also.
- Outdoor Deciduous Bonsai Trees
- Outdoor Evergreen Bonsai Trees
- Indoor Deciduous Bonsai Trees
- Indoor Evergreen Bonsai Trees
|Pictures of deciduous Bonsai trees in summer and winter|
|The same Trident Maple (Acer buergerianum) Bonsai in both pictures, in summer and winter, showing the visual differences of deciduous Bonsai trees according to the season.|
We highly recommend buying a book describing the Bonsai art form and care BEFORE you purchase a Bonsai tree for the first time, or start one from seed or graft. The art of "Bonsai" can be described as a "hobby" and does require time and effort even just to maintain the tree, but that should be part of the reason you are interested in Bonsai in the first place! Here is a list of Bonsai Tree Books for sale.
There are five basic Bonsai style types, and a number of other styles such as the number of trunks or trees, and styles that define the apparent visual health of the tree. Here is a list of the name of each style type and a example Bonsai tree picture;
Bonsai trees can be given a common name relating to the size of the tree, these names are Japanese in origin.
|Bonsai size type common name||Bonsai size type||Bonsai size dimensions metric centimeters||Bonsai size dimensions U.S. inches|
|Imperial bonsai||Eight-handed||152 ↔ 203||60 ↔ 80|
|Hachi-uye||Six-handed||102 ↔ 152||40 ↔ 60|
|Dai||Four-handed||76 ↔ 122||30 ↔ 48|
|Omono||Four-handed||76 ↔ 122||30 ↔ 48|
|Medium size Bonsai|
|Chiu||Two-handed||41 ↔ 91||16 ↔ 36|
|Chumono||Two-handed||41 ↔ 91||16 ↔ 36|
|Katade-mochi||One-handed||25 ↔ 46||10 ↔ 18|
|Komono||One-handed||15 ↔ 25||6 ↔ 10|
|Mame||One-handed||13 ↔ 20||5 ↔ 8|
|Shohin||Palm size||5 ↔ 15||2 ↔ 6|
|Shito||Fingertip size||5 ↔ 10||2 ↔ 4|
|Keshitsubo||Poppy-seed size||3 ↔ 8||1 ↔ 3|
Bonsai trees are traditionally temperate climate trees grown outdoors yearlong in containers or shallow pots. If you are new to this art, your first decision could be weather you are able to keep your Bonsai outdoors due to your local climate. Certain species of tree may survive outdoors yearlong were others may not. See what species of tree grow outside in your area, as these will likely overwinter just fine as a Bonsai tree with the proper overwintering protection and methods. Keep in mind that many temperate tree species if kept in the artificial environment of a home will weaken and die. If an indoor Bonsai tree is preferred, there are many tropical species that will survive an indoor life as a Bonsai tree with the proper care.
There are many Bonsai Gift Starter kits to buy online that make growing your first Bonsai Tree easy, and like any hobby, will be a good starting place.