Pines are a classic bonsai species in Japan and the world over, they are not however, easy trees to care for and style without experience. Pines have their own growth patterns that differ greatly from deciduous and common coniferous species; these growth patterns need to be understood before successful styling and pruning can be carried out.
As can be seen in the accompanying pictures; pines are not only used for bonsai in Japan, they are also very often seen cloud-pruned in Japanese gardens.
Pine foliage is in the form of needles that are most commonly formed in bundles of two's and five's. Some pine species have long and/or curved needles that make them difficult to style effectively as bonsai, however Pinus species that display short needles are nearly always suitable.