Bonsai in Asia Guide Book


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About Bonsai in Thailand

This is part of a story about Bonsai in Thailand by Kong Rithdee. I have listed the details about Species and Styles used in Thailand. Man can never make a tree, but only human ingenuity and skill can create Bonsai. These exquisite, Lilliputian trees from Thailand are the fruit of a genuine partnership between art and nature.

Species:- Among favourite species used to make bonsai in Thailand are the persimmon tree, or tako, betel palm, mak, banyan tree, sai, bo tree, tamarind, makham, and wild lemon, manao pah.

Styles:- The most simple, classic style is song ton, or formal upright style. In this design the tree resembles an ordinary tree in the forest, with erect trunk, horizontal branches and foliage arranged in a loose pyramidal formation.

A little bit more complicated is the slanting style, or ain chai, characterised by the trunk leaning at a slightly acute angle. Slanting trees in nature are called "leaners" - trees that have been forced by the wind and gravity into non-vertical growth. The sensational variation of ain chai is loo lom, or windswept, whose trunk, leaves and branches are swayed correspondingly into a certain direction imitating the effect of a gusty terrain.

Even more dramatic and requiring more perseverance in the process is the cascade style, or tok kra thang. Here the trunk starts by growing upward from the soil, then turns downward abruptly and flows down outside the pot like a meandering brook until its top reaches a point below the bottom of its container, with most of the foliage below the soil surface.

A cascaded planting is an attempt to simulate a tree snaking down the face of an embankment. In a less elaborate semi-cascade style, or kueng tok tra thang, the trunk is allowed to grow straight before*descending at a less steep angle.

Then there is beauty in death. "Tai sak", or decaying plant, is a bonsai inspired by dying trees whose trunks give the illusion of natural decadence. Nature does this with lightning.

Creativity is taken to the extreme in "koh hin", or "on the rock", design, as the roots of the tree are prolonged and trained to entwine around a rock like clenched, bony fingers.

Chinese Painting and Bonsai Club - There is a Chinese Painting and Bonsai Club in Thailand, I have no further details about this club at the moment, please email me if you have more information about this Bonsai Club and I will include it on this page.

Thailand's Bonsai Capital - Khao Raeng district - Ratchaburi province 120 km South west of Bangkok Known as Thailand's Bonsai capital, Khao Raeng district in Ratchaburi province houses a lot of Bonsai nursery gardens where you can obtain bonsai at every stage of life.

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