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What Is a Bonsai Forest?

The bonsai forest is exactly what the given name implies – it is simply many bonsai plants cohabitating in a single container. This technique frequently contains multiples of a single variety, but several different varieties can also be used. Using different types of plants requires a more complex approach as plants can have very different requirements, so it is best to attempt combining plants that have similar needs in order to appreciate success in your forest.

The more species introduced to the forest, the trickier it is to achieve success.  In some cases, species will reproduce starting from a lone root underground, in which case the trunks are actually a lot like limbs that grow above the soil. This is called kabudachi technique.

Naturally, trees endure blustery weather and rainwater, and are frequently totally knocked down. Rain makes the soil softer encouraging roots to develop close to surface where the soil has little underground holes. Every one of which, work against the tree with the wind speed to weaken the capacity of the tree to stay standing. However, plants are highly adaptable and are capable of staying alive even when circumstances are against them.  Just as nature demands a tree to adapt, a bonsai artist tries to imitate the natural world with outcomes that are as stunning as the full sized examples created by the environment

Another bonsai forest style is the “ikadabuki” (straight line), where the trunk is completely out of the earth. The classic design allows it to rest on the surface although a few will be able to essentially grow to some extent like a “kengai” and are a little higher than the soil.  An additional sub-technique allows the trunk to rest partly underground at a slant and the bark beneath the soil decomposes from dampness and minute top soil organisms.  In many other styles of forest bonsai, the trunk will be permitted to develop numerous twigs that similar to individual trunks creating the illusion of a forest style, with each “tree” developing from a solitary tree. The netsunagari (sinuous) method is one of the other out of the ordinary sub-types.   The forms and variety of forest bonsai are only limited by the artists that fashion them.  This is a perfect medium for allowing individuality as broad reaching as any natural forest formation and offers a broad spectrum of artistic opportunity for the bonsai artist that wishes to go beyond the solitary bonsai specimen.

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