It is now winter at Shibui bonsai and the trees have finally dropped their leaves so it is time to start digging the grow beds and see what I have produced this year.
If you have not seen my method for developing root over rock bonsai, or need a reminder, try this link. growing root over rock bonsaiAfter a year in the grow beds the roots have established and the trunks have thickened enough to start refinement. Here are some of this year’s crop.
The foil wrapping holds the roots close to the rock. Any new roots that have developed are also forced to follow the contours of the rock instead of escaping into the surrounding soil. This is one of the keys to producing good root over rock bonsai.
Then look for possible fronts. Eventually Roots, rock and trunk will need to form a harmonious unit so look for a spot where the roots, rock and trunk look best then prune to enhance the trunk line so it complements the rock and roots even more. Branches are developed in the next step so, at this stage, prune to just leave a trunk with good movement and taper.
Despite best efforts sometimes I still get one that doesn’t work properly. The roots that should have been growing around the back of this rock did not survive so the tree is not clasping the rock properly.