Growing Bonsai is an ancient Japanese culture. The more time passes, the more innovative the culture will be!
The bonsai researchers innovate different shapes and styles to reassemble the branches to bring a lucrative outlook of the plant. They keep all styles open to personal practice to show the bonsai gardener’s creativity.
There are some basic styles of bonsai trimming, and one of the most popular styles is Cascade Bonsai. But, you have to gain some knowledge to understand its way of cultivation, structure, and maintenance.
We have researched the bonsai cascade style, and here we’ll discuss a simple guideline about it. So, you can easily bring this style to your bonsai tree. Let’s get into the main point.
Cascade Bonsai Tree- A Detailed Discussion
Naturally, the cascade Bonsai originated from mountains, harsh regional areas, and climate. Even this style of pruning reduces its size and helps to mimic its natural forms.
What Is Cascade Bonsai?
The main theme of cascading Bonsai trees is creating a form in which branches are trunked and bent both down and up. So that it looks like the snow was striving towards the sun. “Kengai Bonsai” is the familiar name of cascade Bonsai to the Japanese.
Which Bonsai Species Are Worthy of Creating Cascade Style?
You’ll be surprised after knowing that more than 50 species of bonsai trees are available. And all these species are cultivated around the world. So you can realize how vast its culture is!
But, all of these 50+ species of Bonsai are not the right choice for Cascade Bonsai. Some of the most common bonsai trees are ideal for this. Such as
The scientific name of the Chinese Juniper is “Juniperus Chinensis“. It is a cypress family Cupressaceae species plant and is primarily found in China, Korea, Japan, Myanmar, and some far East areas of Russia. It will be 1-20 meters long, and every year it will grow 1-2 feet to get its unique appearance.
2.Green Mound Juniper
Green Mound Juniper is a winter-based tree known as “Garden Juniper“. It is basically a shrubby ground-covered tree. Its length will be 8-18″, but sometimes it’ll go up to 24”. However, it spreads its leaves and branches parallel and slightly above the ground to 10-15′ wide.
3.Japanese Black Pine
“Pinus Thunbergii” is the scientific name of Japanese Black Pine, and it is commonly known as Japanese pine or pine tree. However, in Korea, it is called ‘Glomsol“; in China, it is called “Hēisōng“; and in Japan, it is called “Kuromatsu“. It’ll be 25 feet long, 20-30 feet wide, and its leaves are dark green. This plant can tolerate 100°f temperature and needs sunlight to grow.
4.Japanese Garden Juniper
Japanese Garden Juniper is a low-growing plant with ground-hugging and evergreen leaves. It’ll be 6-12 inches high and 4-6 feet wide. It looks aesthetic and unique when it covers the ground with its green and cascading leaves. But, in winter, the blue and greenish foliage will turn purple.
5.Japanese White Pine
The scientific name of the Japanese White Pine is “Pinus Parviflora“. It is also called Ulleungdo white pine, or five-needle pine. It is a white pine group plant whose origin is Japan and Korea. It is a slow grower bonsai species that can take 10 years to reach its maximum growth. It will be approximately 20 to 40 feet long and 10 to 20 feet wide.
Mountain Pine will naturally grow in the mountain area of Western Europe. Its scientific name is “Pinus Uncinata“, and it is a small conifer species plant. It will grow 1-2 feet per year with proper maintenance and care.
Needle Juniper is a plant commonly grown in Northern China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, and Russia. It’ll be almost 10–20 meters long. But, in recent years, this Cascade Juniper Bonsai is also grown in the United States.
The last species of cascade Bonsai styling is Scotch Pine. It’ll usually be 40 to 50 feet long and 30 feet wide. In summer, their needles appear blue-green and 1-2″ long. But in winter, the leaves will change their colors and turn yellow-green.
Types of Cascade Bonsai
There are two types of bonsai cascade. One is full cascade, and another is semi-cascade.
- Full cascade Bonsai
When you bring an entire cascading outlook of your tree, that is called full cascade Bonsai.
- Semi Cascade Bonsai
In semi-cascade Bonsai, one particular shape is focused on bringing this outlook like vertical rock force.
How To Bring Cascade Style To Your Bonsai?
It’s not hard to create a natural-looking cascade, but you have to follow a step-by-step process to bring the cascade shape. Here is a complete guideline of the process
Step 1 : Identify the branches to trim
The tree has a lot of branches. Some branches are strong and thick, whereas some are weak and thin. First, you have to determine which branches you have to trim to get the cascade outlook of your tree.
Step 2 : Trim the unnecessary branches
Pick a bonsai trimming scissors and trim all the weak branches. The bonsai experts suggest trimming the undersized branches growing from the trunk. As a result, you’ll get the space to wire the strong branches.
Step 3 : Wire the branches
Next, pick a relatively thick wire than your selected branches that you wish to wrap. It’ll be better to wrap the branch 75% of the trunk from the base to protect it.
When wiring the branch, don’t wrap it too tightly because extra force will damage the branch quality and restrict its growth.
Step 4 : Wrapping Raffia
After wiring, you can wrap the wiring branch and trunk with raffia. So, the branch will be flexible to move and grow.
Step 5 : Bend the branches
Finally, it’s time to bend the trunk to bring the cascade shape. But, before bending, you have to imagine how you like to look at your tree. As you want to mimic nature instead of modern art, that’s why you have to push the trunk down. Bend the branch down and then up. So it develops a mountain shape that is the main criteria of cascade bonsai.
This is the simplest way to develop and adjust the cascade bonsai shape. Follow the steps for all breaches to ensure an extraordinary outlook of your tree.
Hay, the bonsai lovers, it’s not the end of your cascading Bonsai. After wiring and bending all the branches, you have to repot the tree, and for this, you have to prepare soil and pot.
You have to prepare soil based on the species of your tree. In general, you can pick soil, compost fertilizer, and pebble chips to repot the tree.
- First, choose a pot with a hole to ensure a proper drainage system.
- Next, place a net on the hole and pour pebble chips into the pot.
- After that, pour two handfuls of soil and evenly spread them into the pot.
- Remove the tree from the old pot and keep it carefully in the new pot.
- Gently loose some topsoil from the tree and spread them evenly down the tree.
- At last, again pour some new soil to cover the tree’s roots. Then water and place the pot in a space to decorate it.
Some Useful Tips
- You have to water and fertilize your bonsai according to its needs to maintain proper growth.
- For cascading Bonsai try to prune the tree 3 to 4 times per year.
- Prune the root and repot the tree from spring to summer after every 2-3 years.
Bonsai is a rich culture of growing trees in small size, shape, and space. But the different style makes it vivid to the tree lovers. Cascade bonsai is one of them, and developing this style is an excellent way to cultivate the plant.
But, if you don’t know the proper process and steps, you may damage your plant instead of well-being. So, we suggest you first know the process and then practice.
Hopefully, our discussion will help you on your Bonsai growing journey. If you have any inquiries about Bonsai, let us know by hitting our comment section. We’d love to write about your queries in our next post.
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