Learn to bonsai trees cascade style!



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Cascade styles are among the hardest to achieve. Generally, Junipers are the most commonly shaped trees; their hardiness and malleable nature makes them perfect for creating bonsai trees cascade style!

Ok, so, before we start, it needs to be said that before you even consider cascading your bonsai, the ability to do so will ultimately rest on your tree. You might find that the tree's branches and trunk won't bend where you want, or are too brittle etc.

You also have to decide whether your tree will be a single-line cascade or a multiple-line cascade. A single line cascade tree will have a single line of branch and foliage cascading downwards (basically the whole tree). A multiple-line cascade will have multiple lines; the apex of the branch will counterbalance the multiple lines.

Have a look at your tree and consider how you would like it to look. There is no absolute rule to how a tree will look. This is where artistry comes in. The tree will look exactly how you want it to look! Consider where you want the tree to begin cascading: do you want the tree to come straight out of the pot and down, or do you want it to rise and then fall? These are the things to consider when making bonsai trees cascade style!

• Check the tree's branches and assess their strength. It really is best to start this process at the start of Spring, when the branches have begun softening up

• Clean all deadwood off around the areas you plan to work with

• Pinpoint where the apex should be (the area on the trunk that will be the highest point, before trailing down vertically). Generally, this should be as close to the bottom of the trunk as possible, and if possible, try to maintain foliage in the area. The crown however, should be below the pot

• You will need to split branches to create your lines. Decide where to split them (it should be quite obvious!), and cut with a sharp knife. You will need to decide how far down the split will go, and wire tightly at the base of the split to stop it travelling further. If you don't need to make a split, your tree should have a u-shaped area that you can start bending downwards

• Wire tightly, protecting each branch with cloth

• In the early stages of creating bonsai trees cascade style, you will have to set your pot and tree on a higher working ledge with something to anchor branches to, if the branches are thick and harder to work

• You may need to double wire, as creating downwards movement is very hard!

When making bonsai trees cascade style, you will find it rewarding, particularly due to the advanced nature of the process. The cascade look is to mimic a tree growing off a cliff edge and downwards. When you achieve the look, and your tree cascades naturally (after wiring etc), you will truly feel like a bonsai master!

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