Cypress sitting on a cliff ROR, help needed.

Saddler

Chumono
Messages
692
Reaction score
880
Location
Vancouver, British Columbia
I bought this cypress last spring with the intent of putting it on this peoce of jade but didn't have a box big enough for it. After forgetting about it for the winter, I just found my grow box so I need to repot it tonight or tomorrow. Opinions on where I should set it on the rock. I consider the high side the cliff fac or 'front'. I am thinking 1/3 from the back for it to have room to grow out, but the front 1/3 would give it that precarious life look. Just behind half way might be an option?

Unfortunately trying to find the pieces to get the right height for the pics took way too long and I couldn't trim the pot like I wanted. Unfortunately my time is running out and I don't want to wait another year. I'll take better pics tonight with the best suggestions.


Back 1/3IMG_1947.JPG

Front 1/3
IMG_1950.JPG

Just behind 1/2 way.
IMG_1951.JPG

Thanks in advance for your help.
 

PiñonJ

Omono
Messages
1,198
Reaction score
2,608
Location
New Mexico, AHS heat zone 5
USDA Zone
6b
Maybe it's just a problem of perspective, but it appears that the rock is too big for that tree. It will overwhelm it in the composition. Cool tree, though!
 

Saddler

Chumono
Messages
692
Reaction score
880
Location
Vancouver, British Columbia
Yea, it's mostly perspective. And it's a little small for the rock, but that is by design. I expect the canopy to be significantly larger in a couple years. I trimmed it back quite a lot last fall.

I'll set it up for better pics when I get home tonight.
 

JoeR

Masterpiece
Messages
3,723
Reaction score
2,895
Location
Sandhills of North Carolina
USDA Zone
8a
Not to be rude, but you're going to run into sooo many problems here I think. You won't be able to reduce the roots like you want to, and in general the stone is rather boring. But the tree is very nice and has a ton of potential... I just don't think that ROR with this rock is the best choice.
 

Saddler

Chumono
Messages
692
Reaction score
880
Location
Vancouver, British Columbia
@JoeR thanks for spending the time to comment. I have my vision and my post is about where I should place it, not whether or not to do it. The rock might not be your cup of tea, but has meaning to me. It comes from a job I did more then twenty years ago in northern British Columbia. I used it as a chock block while winching a four wheeler up a ridiculously steep hill and it may have saved my life when the winch snapped and rear tire rolled over this rock but caused the four wheeler to bounce and the skip plate caught the rock and dug in stopping the trailer from jackknifing and running into me. It folded the skid plate right up into the frame, but stopped only a foot or so before hitting me while I was untangling one of the tow ropes. The trailer was loaded with two weeks supplies so it was heavy and if it had hit me, it wouldn't have been until the next day the rest of the team would have been able to get me. I was alone. That night, many hours later, I loaded up a canoe that another guy had paddled down the lake to meet me with. Going back we didn't have much free board on the canoe and we got hit with some heavy winds so we took refuge in a small bay but we couldn't safely get to shore so the guy I was with tied this rock up and we used it as an anchor so we could sleep for a bit. We left at six in the morning and it was 2 am by now and the whole trip was arduous. After an hour sleep we paddled for another hour and made it to camp. After telling the boss the story he brought the rock back at the end of the exploration and gave it to me as a keepsake. He asked if I wanted the matching skid plate, but I declined. He told me I had to remove it regardless haha.

Anyways, I've carrying this thing around with me looking for some way to display it. ROR is it. I've dealt with bigger problems then a few roots with this rock.
 
Last edited:

Cadillactaste

Neagari Gal
Messages
13,413
Reaction score
13,813
Location
NE Ohio: zone 5b (USA)
USDA Zone
5b
Why not turn the stone up on end...so the canopy of your tree extends past the rock? Just an idea...it may take awhile to train those roots down the length of the rock. Burying it into a container and controlling the roots like one does an exposed root process might be something to think about if you can get the roots of such a mature tree to even behave for you to do the project. Your tree...your project. But tossing it out there. It would give the rock more substantial height that would be more to the composition.
 

Saddler

Chumono
Messages
692
Reaction score
880
Location
Vancouver, British Columbia
@Cadillactaste I will post pictures of the rock from other angles. I have thought about what you are proposing and like the idea. Rock isn't very suited for being on end, but if you can point out how I can make it work, I am very interested. It would expose the cut side and make for a very interesting piece. I would be happy with taking a decade to train the roots along the length of the rock. Making the roots do what I need them to do (in this case) is not impossible. I have gotten decent at training roots around hard corners, patience is key. lots of patience. The upside is my yard is river sand so burying the tree is easy to do.
 

plant_dr

Chumono
Messages
852
Reaction score
772
Location
Orem, UT
USDA Zone
5
I like the story about how the rock saved your life. It deserves to be respected by being displayed in a manner you feel it is worthy of. That must have been a beast to carry around all this time!

Are the other sides of the stone just as flat as the ones we can see? What is that red spot? Just paint?
 

Cadillactaste

Neagari Gal
Messages
13,413
Reaction score
13,813
Location
NE Ohio: zone 5b (USA)
USDA Zone
5b
I've done my entire landscape in hardscape. We even bought a sandstone pillar for the idea of a light post. But...it was compromised of age, and deteriated. That stone stood on end easily. So, I've no right direction to offer you...sorry. Our stones stood readily when placed as such in landscape. The end the widest which would have been the base assumed stood likewise. Base being wider and the narrow section as top. You say it won't stand that way. So...I've no direction sorry. Just felt it could have added a better composition all around. Having your canopy larger than the rock and extend out over it. In my mind...very cool. But, one must be able to get to that direction. Wishing you well. But, no direction sorry. I'm stumped the weight of the stone can't hold itself up. Turned on end...the base being wider, I assumed it could.
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
27,430
Reaction score
36,976
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
I have my vision and my post is about where I should place it, not whether or not to do it.

I appreciate the story too...

So much in fact....

I am trying to figure out how to break the sentimental bond of the ROR idea.

Sincerely.

If that rock means so much to you...
Why bury it away for so long?

The Japanese have a thing about a red accent in fish tanks...

I would use it in the garden in such a manner.....

With....a little model 4x4 hooked on the top of the "hill".

The red spot is too cool to bury.

And the tree and rock...IMO...

Are too great alone to combine.

Sorce
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
27,430
Reaction score
36,976
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
I have my vision and my post is about where I should place it, not whether or not to do it.

I appreciate the story too...

So much in fact....

I am trying to figure out how to break the sentimental bond of the ROR idea.

Sincerely.

If that rock means so much to you...
Why bury it away for so long?

The Japanese have a thing about a red accent in fish tanks...

I would use it in the garden in such a manner.....

With....a little model 4x4 hooked on the top of the "hill".

The red spot is too cool to bury.

And the tree and rock...IMO...

Are too great alone to combine.

Sorce
 

Cadillactaste

Neagari Gal
Messages
13,413
Reaction score
13,813
Location
NE Ohio: zone 5b (USA)
USDA Zone
5b
Very good direction @sorce ! Honoring the memory of the story of the stone. We're as a ROR loses it a bit telling an entire different story.
 

Saddler

Chumono
Messages
692
Reaction score
880
Location
Vancouver, British Columbia
The tree part is related to my past as well. I was working for a guy that everyone called Nearly Normal Norman, and he was a character. He was building an ecotourism business on Tootsie Lake and loved his nature and wilderness like few can. He cleared a ten acre pasture for his horses that had been covered in willow, by hand. He didn't want diesel or oils to contaminate his field. He was half crazy, in a good way. Along Tootsie Lake there are a handful of coniferis trees with the roots exposed over the rock (I wish I new what type of trees they were) and Norm always admired how the trees hung on even when the dirt was washed away. We had a few conversations about the root over rock trees. I know now, little of our ponderings were based on fact lol. He was trained as tool and die maker but his trade was machinist, the rock was the first cut of a very large diamond saw that he built from the ground up. Everything but the engine and saw blade he built. It was apparently a very successful saw. That is why he was taking the rock to the camp. A reminder that a vision and some hard work can build something worth having. The man loved his nature and was the most anal clean freak you could imagine. The aesthetics of bonsai would really appeal to Norm if he was still around. He was a mind over matter kind of guy. I don't mind and it doesn't matter, so much it killed him. He didn't look after himself and worked too late into the night rather then dealing with his diabetes. And probably a couple to many spiced rum and Diet Coke with a wedge of lime that night. If nothing else, lived every day like it was his last. He was the most enjoyable and entertaining boss I ever had.

I guess I got a little carried away reminiscing, but the rock has some memories attached I am thinking. A tree on it isn't to make so much a beautiful bonsai, that is secondary, but something Norm would appreciate.
 

M. Frary

Bonsai Godzilla
Messages
14,185
Reaction score
21,636
Location
Mio Michigan
USDA Zone
4
Keep it next to your driveway for when you need a wheel chock again.
 

Ironbeaver

Chumono
Messages
636
Reaction score
998
Location
Toronto
USDA Zone
6a
What about something like this?
cascaderor.JPG
A temporary frame on the top of the rock to let roots extend across and own into the pot/soil below, then after enough time has passed start removing the top soil exposing the roots.
 

barrosinc

Masterpiece
Messages
4,086
Reaction score
4,532
Location
Santiago, Chile
USDA Zone
9b
Do you think it will survive working the roots like that? It doesn't seem young.

How about using the rock as the display stand?
 

Saddler

Chumono
Messages
692
Reaction score
880
Location
Vancouver, British Columbia
To get the roots to go around a hard corner, I place the tree on the rock, where I want it and trim as much of the roots back as possible and let it grow for two years. when I dig it up I root prune the roots that are not wrapping around tightly. I have done this a couple times, one died last summer in the dry summer heat when the water pressure dropped a little bit and the sprinkler just fell short and the other is in the ground. It might take a couple more repots on this one, but that isn't a problem for me. And if I change my mind in the next two years, I can always pull it off and pot it a more conventional style.

@sorce I don't know how long I will be living here, no more then five more years I hope. Its a townhouse with a very small yard that is very full so using it as a display piece isn't happening, I have thought about it though. The paint they used is the toughest paint I have ever seen. It has spend a decade outside already and hasn't effected the paint much, if at all. I doubt it will come off with only a few years in the ground. Burying it for a few years and having it come back with as something unusual is better then being annoyingly heavy to move around a couple times a year because it is in the way.
 

G-Hoppa

Sapling
Messages
26
Reaction score
26
Location
Bothell, WA
USDA Zone
8b
@Saddler - I'm about to attempt my first ROR with a young hemlock, so I'm reading about your method here with interest. Do you use anything to wrap around the roots and rock to keep them tight together before you bury it? I've seen that done in pics elsewhere but it seems like you don't thinks it's necessary. And how long (approx) do you expect your project here to take, if all goes well? 2-3 repots?
 

Saddler

Chumono
Messages
692
Reaction score
880
Location
Vancouver, British Columbia
@G-Hoppa If you have a second pair of hands and experience with tying roots down, I would wrap it like is commonly done. If you don't have both of those, my method works but is slower. I tie the tree to the rock where you want it and use masking tape (make sure the rock is dry and the roots don't have excess water on them, I usually just pat them with paper towel) to hold the roots roughly where I want them. I don't waste much time on this because I seem to barely use any of the roots I tape, or maybe I do, Im not sure. I throw it in the ground or a pot so it is covered nicely and put slow release fertilizer only around the trunk. my reasoning is the Fert will wash down the rock and the roots will follow it. I bury the rock on an angle if I need to so the fertilizer and water will hopefully fall along the rock the way I want the roots to grow. Then I only water where I want the roots to grow. On another rock, it was pretty long and narrow so I only watered along the length of the rock and let the outsides of the pot dry out.

In a couple years I pull it out and either root prune and repeat or wrap like is common. It is way easier to wrap once the roots are already close to where you want them and you don't need (but would be nice to have) a second pair of hands.
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom