Multi-trunk Bonsai style


Updated on:

The multi-trunk bonsai style is one of the most popular bonsai styles that can add a unique and dynamic element to any bonsai collection. This style is characterized by having multiple trunks emerging from the same root system, and it can be achieved with a wide variety of tree species.

The multi-trunk style is a fascinating and beautiful way to create a bonsai tree that mimics the natural growth pattern of trees in the wild. By growing multiple trunks, bonsai enthusiasts can create a sense of depth and complexity in their trees, making them appear more mature and visually interesting. This style is particularly popular for deciduous trees such as maples and elms, but can also be used for conifers and other evergreens.

To create a multi-trunk bonsai, the grower must carefully select and prune the trunks to create a harmonious and balanced composition. With proper care and attention, a multi-trunk bonsai can be a stunning addition to any collection, and a testament to the beauty and complexity of nature.

What is Bonsai Multi-Trunk Style?

Bonsai multi-trunk style is a popular technique that involves growing multiple trunks from a single bonsai tree. This style is often used to create the illusion of a small forest or grove, and can be achieved with a variety of tree species.

Multiple trunk plants and trees also have specific designs and names. 

  • Bonsai trees that have two trunks are called sokan
  • Bonsai with three trunks are called sankan, and
  • Bonsai with more than three are kabudachi

If the specimen is only connected at the root and not a true multi-trunk, it is in the netsunagari style. 

It is important when growing bonsais with multiple trunks that a sense of balance is maintained.  These differ from the group category because they are all single trees.

How to Create Bonsai Multi-Trunk Style

One of the key elements of the multi-trunk style is the use of a shallow container or tray to help create the impression of a natural landscape. This container allows the roots to spread out horizontally, which can help to create a more stable base for the multiple trunks.

  1. Choose a suitable tree: Species with naturally occurring multiple trunks, such as maple, elm, and juniper, are ideal candidates. Look for a young tree with multiple trunks or branches that are close together. This will make it easier to train the tree into a multi-trunk bonsai.
  2. Prune the tree: Use sharp pruning shears to remove any unwanted branches or shoots. Leave only the main trunks or branches that you want to develop into the bonsai.
  3. Wire the branches: Use bonsai wire to gently bend and shape the branches into the desired position. Be careful not to break or damage the branches.
  4. Allow the tree to grow: After wiring the branches, allow the tree to grow for a few months to allow the branches to set in their new position.
  5. Repeat the process: Repeat the pruning and wiring process as necessary to develop the desired number of trunks or branches.
  6. Pot the bonsai: Once the tree has reached the desired shape and size, pot it in a suitable bonsai pot with well-draining soil.
  7. Maintain the bonsai: Regularly water, fertilize, and prune the bonsai to maintain its health and shape.

Multi-trunk bonsai care and maintenance tips

Maintaining a bonsai multi-trunk style requires regular pruning and shaping. Be sure to water the tree regularly and provide it with the appropriate amount of sunlight and nutrients. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can cause the tree to grow too quickly and detract from the overall appearance of the multi-trunk style.

Periodically check the wiring on the tree to ensure that it is not causing any damage or constriction. Remove the wire once the branches have set into their desired position to prevent any long-term damage to the tree.

Creating a bonsai multi-trunk style can be a challenging but rewarding experience. With the right tree species, careful pruning and shaping, and regular maintenance, you can create a beautiful and natural-looking bonsai that will be the envy of all who see it.

Leave a Comment