Root-Over-Rock Experiment: Bonsai Garden Photos and Stories


A tree is planted in a concave rock. Plans change halfway through. The final product is acceptable and a good lesson.

In these photos, you can see one of my earliest trees. Its destination is a rock from the sea shore on a blue plate. My inability and ignorance show through. The end result looks fine, but it's probably a disaster. Only time will tell.

It will certainly be an interesting long-term experiment to watch.

One of my earliest attempts at bonsai stands next to a rock that has featured in my previous posts. So much is wrong with this tree. The wrong sort of pot. The wrong wiring. The top cut. Everything almost. It's a bit sacrificial - I don't mind if it doesn't survive.


The experimental wire work I did on the tree can be seen. I used very thin copper wire out of an old broken electrical cable. The sort of wire you actually want to use on tree is much more thick.


The rock on the intended angle in sand on a blue dish. This rock resisted drilling with a normal bit, and I haven't managed to get the recommended masonry bit, so I'm just going to experiment with the roots going down into the tray instead of staying confined to the rock.


After removing the dead wood and the wire, clearing and then loosening the surface earth. It's not a completely horrible little tree. The species I think is a native similar to a pohutukawa or with a fragrant sap, but I'm not sure the exact name.


With the roots removed from the pot, an ant nest is revealed. It is recommended that you burn the earth here to remove the pest, but they're everywhere on the section anyway. I wash the roots though.


The root structure of the tree after washing. The rock is on the wrong angle to handle such a developed structure and hold it in place. The rock and roots are juggled until they sit in place naturally enough.


With a small handful of soil in the cavity, the roots are wrapped under the rock in the sand, and the tree balances well enough to hold, with a bit of good fortune.


I pack more earth around the top of the roots. The goal is to add clay based earth slowly around the roots while the sand in the tray gradually mixes with it or washes away. This way the roots will stay slightly exposed, and the position will be gradually cemented in place.


Here after a first watering. The place where it will stay while its fate is decided. I have really tortured this small tree. My chances are not great this will work, but it has been a good lesson in why some practices are generally recommended that were not properly followed here.


That's all. I hope you enjoyed this bonsai experiment. I have more pruning posts to follow and some fruiting plants. And there will be some more posts about bonsai, but less so as we move into winter in the Southern Hemisphere and I have to leave the trees alone and even water them less than daily.

Stay tuned for more by following me @almightymelon.


now i see , we share some stuff like our love for bonsai ...i am a totally amateur in this hobby but i try a lot


Funny. Also the other day I was randomly voting with my bot accounts and realised I was voting on you. Glad you like bonsai too. I do a few posts on it.