Formal Upright Style Bonsai
Formal Upright Style Bonsai also known as Chokkan, is one of the most sought after styles as it is very impressive when the tree has the proper taper. Formal upright has standard proportions and is essentially the basis of many other bonsai styles we will look at. Classically the main branches are styled towards the sides never towards the front of the bonsai. Branches should be progressively shorter the higher they are on the tree. To create proper balance the branches should alternate from left to right. The third branch should go partially to the back to create depth. We are trying to achieve balance while avoiding complete symmetry. The first branch should start at about a 1/3 of the total height of the tree.
In order to create an impressive Formal upright style bonsai you must develop taper in the trunk. This means the trunk goes from thick at the bottom and gradually gets thinner towards the top. There are various methods to thicken the trunk of you bonsai tree see the article Trunk Thickening in our Knowledge Base Section