Bonsai Styles: Broom Style

Broom Style is a style best suited to deciduous trees, particularly Elm's and Maples, both of which are easy to develop into this manner. The tree may have either a number of branches radiating out from the same level on the trunk, rather like a besom (witches) broom, or by allowing a large number of branches to develop around the trunk.

Besom style

The style may be developed by allowing a seedling or cutting to grow on for a few years, then or cutting or layering the top off. Ideally this should be at about 6" to 9". This will cause buds to break out on the trunk, these buds will form the new branches.

The cut when removing the top of the tree should be in a 'V' shape as this will heal over better and create less of a bulge when it does.

A Japanese maple at the start of its development as a broom. The top of the tree was layered off, a 'V' was cut into the top to reduce swelling as the branches develop. The wound was sealed with bonsai 'cut wound paste', but grafting wax, or paint could be used instead.

The new shoots have sprouted and as they reach a managable size, those that are in the wrong place will be removed.

When developing a broom style bonsai, cut the trunk back, allowing a couple of the shoots that develop to grow on. Prune the tree back to a few (2 or 3) leaf nodes and allow them to grow on.

Repeating the process over a few years will give you a good Broom style Bonsai.

Candle style

A variation on the broom style where a large number of branches are allowed to develop around the trunk. Unlike other styles, as these branches are developed little attention is paid to creating 'negative, or open areas between them.

A Candle broom style

A nice little Broom Maple, shown here in winter. It's at this time of year that you can appreciate the fine branch structure.

The real thing, with another in the background.

Allen. C. Roffey 23:47 14/04/2005