How to choose a bonsai pot no 6 - Acacia galpinii

Due to popular demand we have started this series to help Bonsai artists and our loyal customers in their choice of a bonsai container. There are many factors that need to be taken into account when selecting a bonsai pot and we will be diving into the way we select a container for our trees and customers trees.

Masculine or Feminine

The main consideration in choosing a pot is to work out if the tree is masculine or feminine. This is determined by multiple characteristics of each tree, for example the nebari, trunk line, bark texture, leaf density and much more.

A tree that has characteristics of strength, power, formality, harshness, roughness and struggle can be considered masculine

A tree that has characteristics of calm, delicacy, instability, informality and finesse can be considered feminine.


Please note that these are merely guidelines and form a basis on how to break down the elements of tree and pot to help in choosing a correct Bonsai container. Every artist and bonsai enthusiast will have their own opinions and artistic flair which will create a different composition of their own.

Acacia galpinii


Current pot size: 420mm wide

Tree Size: 600mm high x 700mm wide

Tree characteristics

Lets start by listing some of the characteristics of this tree and how they fit into the masculine or feminine approach.

  1. Nebari - Masculine, Powerful base that will show more of the root flair after repotting.

  2. Trunk line - Masculine, Slight tapered trunk line and movement.

  3. Bark texture - Masculine, Very flaky, course bark

  4. Bark colour - Masculine, Dark brown colours with hints of light cream and black

  5. Primary branches - Masculine, Thick pronounced primary branches

  6. Ramification - Masculine, Still more development needs to happen but eventually the finer branch structure will mimic the primaries.

  7. Leaf size/density - Feminine, Fine bipinnate compound leaves gives a softer image to the tree.

  8. Leaf colour New/Old - Masculine, The dark green tones of both the light and old leaves adds more visual weight to the tree.

  9. Other features - Masculine, scars and deadwood features give a sense of age and drama.

Masculine 8 - Feminine 1

On the scale below the tree is at no 5 on the masculine side.

Pot selection

Option A: Oval RDB 36cm x 27cm x 7cm high - Willow Bonsai Pots

Glazed effect: Deep Stone