Root on Rock shimpaku

I started this bonsai as an entry in an Ausbonsai shohin competition in 2016. You can follow the original development in this Ausbonsai thread but you will need to log in to view the pictures. –

Trees planted on rocks often don’t do well because the rocks act as a wick to suck moisture away from the roots. This tree is also in a very shallow pot and has no potting mix or soil. Just gravel in the tray. I think it has survived so well because the pot is actually a suiban – tray with no drain holes – so when it is watered th tray holds a small reservoir of moisture for long enough for the trees to get a good drink before the water evaporates.

All 3 trees have grown quite a bit over the last year or so and it is in need of a trim. i was not entirely happy with the original style but there was not enough on any of the trees to make changes. Now it is time for a restyle.

Currently all 3 trees flow in different directions and each tree also has several conflicting branch directions but now the trunks and branches have grown enough to allow some to be removed or converted to small jins.

after pruning and wiring

The top tree is now shorter to simplify the outline of the group as a whole and the others have been reduced in proportion. I’ve also redirected all the trees in a single common direction – hopefully that will convey a more consistent idea of wind and conditions in this landscape.

There’s not a lot left right now but if these trees continue to grow as they have it should not be long before they are full and bushy again.

I would like to develop at least 2 separate foliage pads on each of these trees as they grow to add some further complexity to the arrangement. The jins are still pretty thin so they may not actually last many years. I’ll still paint with lime sulphur and see what happens.

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