THERE are several sub-classifications of Cascade (Kengai), depending upon the degree of drop, or where the descending trunk and branches resemble a waterfall (Taki-Kengai), or hang down like a mass of strings (Ito-Kengai).

A regular Cascade or so called Kengai (Japan), the degree of drop around 45 degrees. The point of the tree swinging either to the right or left, and ending just below the trunk, gives it a better balance. In some cases the tip can swing away and not toward the trunk base. Create an apex with a branch closest to the base of the trunk and keep is shorter than the cascading portion.

Remember, make a bonsai Cascade Style can be done in two ways. First, bending main stem up to a certain degree slope, or to resemble a waterfall. Second, take advantage of the first branch. You have the right to form canting stems, including where they lead. But what happens in general, cascade style is mostly pointing to the left.

created adn owned by PEDRO J MORALES (USA)

created adn owned by

Cascade style bonsai is one type that can be quickly enjoyed forms. Although the trunk is still small, its beauty can be recorded eye. Different from the formal style (chokan) for example, requires a relatively large trunk.

Risk of making bonsai cascade from plant seeds or cuttings of branches, you have to really be patient. This is because the growth of the stem is not as fast as formal bonsai, because the trunk kinked by wire.

A deep pot is always used for cascades. If possible plant the tree in the middle or slightly towards the edge, being careful so the trunk will not touch the pot. Here are the steps you must take …..

owned & created by HERIBERTUS PRASETYO (Indonesia)

owned & created by

1. Making bonsai cascade does not mean planting trees in a lying position

2. The mouth of the pot should be narrow such that trunk of the tree stands out and the pot should be slender and high to complement the height of the tree.

3. Try to create a cascade which has seven branches canopy or more.

4. For semi-cascade (Han-Kengai) is very close to an extremely slanted trunk style. The apex is placed a tip of tree. Medium deep pot can be used for this style.

5. For Formal Cascade, in the center of the pot the apex and the tip of the cascading portion form a straight line in the very formal style.

created & owned by SULIS NINJA (Indonesia)

created & owned by
SULIS NINJA (Indonesia)

6. For Gaito-Kengai can be likened to a tree growing on a mountain top, with part of it hanging over the cliff. Almost side swept.

7. For vertical cascade (Dai-Kengai). The degree of drop is almost vertical, showing no crown. A crown may be added if branch is available.

8. In the family of Cascade, there is one unique style. Where the trunk drops and then comes up again. A tree forced to bend by nature, but still fighting for survival.

9. There is also a cascade style which is a mixture of the literati and formal. A damaged portion of un upright tree is forced to cascade, but still seeking the sun, form an upright tree again.


created & owned by IWAN GAJAH (Indonesia)

created & owned by
IWAN GAJAH (Indonesia)

10. The other, the curves of the trunk on this cascade is very irregular but interesting. Held securely in the pot by good rootage.



NOTE : The photo above ( and number 4) is the work of and owned by Mauro Stemberger (Italy)


  1. Alan Walker says:

    Excellent tutorial on kengai.
    I see far too many attempts which fail to understand the basic design principles of this complex but highly attractive bonsai style.

  2. TAFIP BONSAI says:

    This article reviews less detail, but the picture illustration helps us to understand.

  3. I was greatly helped by this article. Thanks for the enlightenment. Greeting from Manila.

  4. I think using the original illustrations of bonsai like this much better than using the sketch.

  5. Pak Iwan, please considerations about other styles.

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