In other beginner bonsai articles across this website, I've mentioned that there are a number of fundamental rules to creating beautiful and appealing bonsai.

As a beginner bonsai enthusiast, it can be useful to follow such rules so that you can get a feel for the beauty of the art.

On this page I will provide a list of such 'rules' but please be aware that rules are meant to be broken and you should consider them as rough guidelines only. Feel free to break free of these guidelines wherever you deem it necessary to do so and remember that the only person you have to please with your bonsai is yourself.

Rule #1: No branches or rpots should point directly at the viewer.

Rule #2: The trunk should taper upwards (i.e. be thinner at the top than the bottom).

Rule #3: Branches should not cross each other.

Rule #4: Branches should not cross the trunk.

Rule #5: The height of the trunk should be around six times the caliper (diameter).

Rule #6: Branches should alternate in direction (i.e. left, then right, then back).

Rule #7: The style of the pot should be in harmony with the style of the tree.

Rule #8: The lowest branch should have a larger diameter than higher branches.

The Ultimate Rule: Do not let rules get in the way of your work - let your artistic juices flow.

Further reading: I highly recommend that you take a look at this article at Art of Bonsai. It highlights some great examples of where rules have been broken to magnificent effect.