The Ancient Art of Bonsai: Glossary, Chapter I

To find out the meanings of all the particular words that are part of the world of bonsai, here is a practical and easy to navigate online glossary.

  • apex - the tip of a tree or branch

  • bonsai - Japanese term for the the art of cultivating and training a plant to create the illusion of a dwarfed tree.
  • bonkei - tray plantings containing stones, trees, plants and figurines
  • branch bender - a clamp or jack used to bend branches or trunk
  • branch splitter - a cutting tool used to divide branch or trunk to allow it to be bent more easily.
  • broom style - A training form for bonsai which resembles an inverted broom with a single trunk dividing into many symmetric branchlets which subdivide into twigs and so forth. See Hokidachi
  • bunjin - Japanese term for an educated person or literati, a tree grown in this style, usually emphasizing a thin trunk, with a lean appearance and container with rough-hewn appearance.

  • callus - The raised roll of tissue that forms as a wound heals and closes
  • cambium - The layer of tissue between the xylem and phloem, where new wood is formed.
  • chokkan - Japanese term for the formal upright style
  • clump style - see Kabaduchi
  • concave cutters
  • cutting - a bit of a plant that has been cut and rooted. A means to propagate.

  • deciduous - a plant that sheds its leaves and enters a state of dormancy annually

  • eda - Japanese term for branch
  • evergreen - a tree that does not shed its leaves in winter

  • fungicide - a chemical used to combat the growth of fungus

  • graft - to join a stem of one plant with another so they grow together. Grafting is used both to propagate plant species and to add foliage where none previously existed on a bonsai.
  • grafting knife

  • han-kengai - Japanese term for semi-cascade - See also Kengai
  • hokidachi - Japanese Term for Broom Style

  • ishitsuki - Japanese term for root-over-rock style

  • jin - Pronounced JEEN - Japanese term for snags of deadwood on the ends of branches or trunk.

  • kabaduchi - Japanese term for clump style bonsai
  • kengai - Japanese term for cascade style. See also han-kengai
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