Cascade trees are a style of wire tree sculpture that I really enjoy creating. They are elegant and flow so beautifully, really displaying a natural grace and calming presence. The traditional name for the cascade style is ‘kengai’ and they can be a semi-casde or full cascade.
A semi-cascade bonsai tree typically has branches growing at a 45 degree angle away or curving around the base. The foliage usually only reached the top of the pot and should appear balanced and support its own weight. These trees depict a scenario where the tree is growing on a steep vertical slope,such as a cliff face, or near a river and the branches have travelled over the embankment towards the water.
With the longer full cascade the trees are often sat on a plinth to raise the pot up. The trees foliage is left to hang over the side and falls lowers than the nebari (base/root flare) of the tree. These trees depict a more mountainous scene, where the foliage has been trained by natural weather events, rock falls or snow shifts.
The kengai family of bonsai are incredibly beautiful and show the stunning elegance of natural trees growing in harmony with nature – even given the sometimes inhospitable conditions! I have created a short slideshow of some of the cascade wire tree sculptures I have designed over the years. Some of these are available in my shop if your interested in giving one a loving forever home or to present as a gift to a loved one.