Those with years of experience most often agree that the Coniferous types are the most popular. I believe it is because they get the look of old age much sooner than their counterparts. The difference between the coniferous and the decideous is:
- Coniferous – do not lose their leaves during the winter season.
- Decideous – do lose their leaves during the winter season.
- Coniferous – leaves do not change colors during the winter months.
- Decideous – leaves do change colors during the winter months.
The fact that the coniferous require less pruning and do not need re-potting as often as their decideous counterpart make them a very attractive candidate for bonsai.
Junipers – are in the coniferous variety. They are the most easy to train and develop into a bonsai. They are also the most hardy and are much more forgiving than all other conifers. This makes them the number one choice for the bonsai beginner.
Japanese Black Pine and Five Needle Pine – are very hardy and easy to create into either the formal or informal upright style with minimal shaping and pruning required.
Cypress, Spruce and Larch – These are all hardy species and can lend themselves very well to most any style bonsai that you want. These species can be made to look very dignified with just a little nurturing.
Formal upright style is where the trunk of the tree is more straight upwards from the base and the lower branches tend to be wider and get shorter as they go up the trunk. With a natural taper toward the top the tree takes on a triangular look. This is a great style for beginner.
The Informal upright style is where the trunk is curved all the way up to the top. Most often taking on a ‘S’ shape. A very popular style that makes each bonsai unique.