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Practical Guide to Bonsai Styles of the World by Charles S. Ceronio

13 reviews
5 items left


Most books on bonsai cover matters such as history, cultivating techniques, designing and training principles, general care and maintenance and propagation techniques. Very few books are available on designing and styling bonsai. However, it is essential that the bonsai enthusiast should master these challenging techniques in order to train plant material into quality bonsai.

Practical Guide to Bonsai Styles of the World is a comprehensive guide to more than forty bonsai styles, covering the traditional Japanese and Chinese styles as well as six unique African styles. Each style is illustrated and discussed in detail, with line drawings and photographs showing the characteristics and variations of the style, suggestions for plants suited to each individual style and for the most appropriate containers.

Now in its third edition, the book has been completely updated with additional information and full-colour photographs throughout, and a user-friendly design and colour-coding that makes the book easy to use.


  • A fully illustrated, comprehensive guide to more than forty bonsai styles, covering the traditional Japanese and Chinese styles as well as six unique African styles
  • Colour plates comprising more than 600 high-quality full-colour photographs
  • The most complete and detailed book of its kind currently available, it bridges the gap between the many books aimed at the absolute beginner and the highly technical manuals on bonsai styling
  • Superior quality text and photographs and excellent reproduction and printing. 

About the Author

Charles S. Ceronio has been designing bonsai plants for more than four decades. He studied the art of bonsai under the guidance of the world-famous bonsai master, John Naka and is co-founder of the Pretoria Bonsai Kai. He is the originator of six uniquely African bonsai designs and regularly conducts bonsai demonstrations and workshops in South Africa and abroad. As an initiative to promote the growing of master bonsai trees in South Africa, he established the annual Top 10 Bonsai Exhibition.


216 pages


240 x 168mm, soft cover, integral binding, over 800 line drawings; 100 colour photographs

Customer Reviews
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    I recommend this product

    Amazing Book

    The book was recommended by my bonsai instructor. He was right, an awesome publication. Very informative and helpful. I love it.

    Michelle M.
    United States United States

    Practical Guide to Bonsai Styles of the World by Charles S. Ceronio

    A really useful book for use anywhere in the world, and specifically in South Africa. Exceptional illustrations - well done and very practical.

    Mias D.
    South Africa South Africa

    Bonsai Styles of the World -A review on relevance to the Bonsai Grower

    I bought this book through Bonsai Tree as I wanted a resource that gave me options in regard tree shape, as well as the African Pierneef bonsai. The book has more than fulfilled my expectations and I have used several of the styles described in the pictures and drawings to suit my needs. Terry at Bonsai Tree went out of his way to get the book for me and ensure delivery. I will definitely send further business his way.

    John H.
    Australia Australia

    A great guidebook to bonsai styles

    A great guidebook to bonsai styles. I found it very complete, with sketches illustrating the possible variations on each theme. It's also useful that the author recommends suitable plant material to complement each style, as well as recommending which containers might work best. The emphasis of this book is very much on the proportions, silhouette and structure of each bonsai style--this might seem obvious, but what I'm saying is that this is not a guide that will tell you, step by step, how to create a literati tree, for example. It is not an instruction manual or textbook, and though it would be interesting and informative to beginners, I would judge it as geared more towards those with some experience in or knowledge of bonsai. I do like that the author included his newly-created African school of bonsai, in addition to the Japanese and Chinese schools. It's appropriate, since African tree species have different natural shapes to the classic styles, and it will be interesting to see whether this school develops further. I docked one star because it would have been nice to have a greater variety of photos. Bonsai is such a visual medium, and although the sketches were informative, they are a pale reflection of the trees they represent.

    Louis R.
    South Africa South Africa

    What a read!!

    What a great book. Ever so glad i bought this and worth every cent. Very technical outlook on bonsai design and has already helped me tremendously in the approach to styling and classifying my trees. A must for every enthusiast!

    David K.
    South Africa South Africa