Bonsai: the Art of the Windswept Style

One of the most dramatic bonsai styles is the windswept style. A windswept bonsai tree imitates the appearance of taller trees in areas of high wind. The most common interpretation of this style is of a tree growing on high mountainside. Its very dramatic appearance makes the windswept style one of the most popular styles to create, but also one of the trickiest.

Permanent Windswept

The permanent windswept style recalls the classic image of a trunk tilted by the wind, the branches all curved and twisted in the same direction. However, a tree that grows in heavy winds often has branches in all directions, with larger branches and more foliage on the downwind side. The second variation is less known, but just as correct an interpretation.

Temporarily Windswept

This style has become popular more recently. It looks like a tree in the middle of a gale, the trunk and strong branches going whichever way, but the minor branches twisted to follow the wind.

What Plant To Choose

Any plant that takes well to wiring can be made to fit the windswept style. Conifers are popular, but not the only option. Keep in mindthat bougainvillea and other plants with very brittle branches will be difficult if not impossible to style this way as the branches break too easily under wiring.

A Life-Long Process

To create a windswept bonsai is a project that can fill years, evolving as the tree grows. If your tree has yet to reach perfection, don't worry—there is always next year.