Bonsai trees are small trees grown in containers. It is just like taking care of a regular tree, but on a miniscule level. The practice of raising bonsai trees started with the Chinese in 200 A.D. The Chinese believe that the art of caring for bonsai trees provides shin-zen-bi, which translates to goodness, beauty and truth. There are several types of bonsai trees.
There are two common types of upright bonsai trees. Formal upright is the easiest to grow for beginner gardeners, and grows quickly. The shape is round and the lower branches extend around the bottom of the tree. Species include pine and spruce. Informal upright is the second upright style, and differs from the formal upright because the top branch doesn't grow out vertically, but it bends over towards the front. Species include beech and Japanese maple.
Slant and Windswept Bonsai
The slant bonsai has one side slanting one way, with the opposite side slanting the other way. Most species are available this way, and they always seem to have the appearance of a balanced, slanted style. Windswept bonsai looks slanted as well, like it was blown to the side by a strong breeze. It differs from the slant bonsai because it all leans one way.
There are two common types of cascade bonsai trees. The regular cascade looks like the tree is sloping downwards, hence the name. The trunk grows vertically so the branches look like they are cascading down as they are growing. Species good to grow in this manner include jasmine and wisteria. Semi-cascade bonsais slump over the sides of the pot, but the trunk still grows up gracefully and vertically. Species include willow and chrysanthemums.