Shimpaku rock planting

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Chumono
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After a discussion with another Cleveland Bonsai Club member about how plants interact with rocks I decided to do an experiment.

The discussion came about from a question I asked about what would happen if I threaded a juniper through a hole in a rock. Would it be ok with the choke point or would it die? I was told another club member tried that with a piece of limestone and eventually the tree broke the limestone in half. Interesting!

I decided to experiment myself changing the parameters slightly. I have a piece of limestone that has a channel in it. I squeezed a shimpaku through the opening and into the larger channel. I’m wondering if it will still break it since there is room to escape? I’m also wondering if I can slow the growth enough once it fills the channel to get several years out of it before it either breaks or swells out. It will be interesting to see.

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I'll put my money on the tree. The open channel may give the tree a way out but I still think the tree will win in this contest.
I also made the mistake of planting a ficus with roots through a hole in limestone. It only took a couple of years to pop that piece off. A few years after the roots surrounding another section broke that off as well. Eventually the remaining rock just disappeared under the spreading roots. Trees can exert tremendous pressure on whatever gets in the way.
 

Cadillactaste

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I'll put my money on the tree. The open channel may give the tree a way out but I still think the tree will win in this contest.
I also made the mistake of planting a ficus with roots through a hole in limestone. It only took a couple of years to pop that piece off. A few years after the roots surrounding another section broke that off as well. Eventually the remaining rock just disappeared under the spreading roots. Trees can exert tremendous pressure on whatever gets in the way.
They have been known to swallow fence and other objects. On vacation we seen a tree swallow a headstone.
 

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I think that’s likely but I’ve also seen trees completely envelope rocks.
What I’m hoping for is that I get a few years when I can show it before the inevitable. Hope #2 is that after whatever happens happens the tree still looks good.
 

Cadillactaste

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I think that’s likely but I’ve also seen trees completely envelope rocks.
What I’m hoping for is that I get a few years when I can show it before the inevitable. Hope #2 is that after whatever happens happens the tree still looks good.
But did they start from the crevice? 🤔
Trident ROR sounds like your gig...they Totally look empailed on rocks once their roots melt. I wonder if you should try another as well as a ROR...with a trident.
 

Cadillactaste

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Forgot to add the planting looks good. I just ponder with past experiences from others. I have a rock planting and my experience the roots push the trees up from the surface. If it's open and not confined.

Edit to add photo. Thuja rock planting
IMG_20190630_080247655.jpg
 
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If the rock is sedimentary, I’m backing the tree all day long. Cool experiment, I have been wondering something similar myself
 

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But did they start from the crevice? 🤔
Trident ROR sounds like your gig...they Totally look empailed on rocks once their roots melt. I wonder if you should try another as well as a ROR...with a trident.
Hmm, I could try that. I do have a juniper san jose I'm training root over rock but I also have a trident cutting (only one of a group that survived) that is still a stick. I was going to take a look at it in the spring to figure out what I want to do with it. Should probably put it in the ground but maybe rockify it first?
 

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Hmm, I could try that. I do have a juniper san jose I'm training root over rock but I also have a trident cutting (only one of a group that survived) that is still a stick. I was going to take a look at it in the spring to figure out what I want to do with it. Should probably put it in the ground but maybe rockify it first?
BVF has a good thread here on his development of one. 😉 I think that would eventually get you to your aspiring final look.
 

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Start root over rock with smaller trees. Roots need to be flexible so they can follow the contours of the rock and that's really difficult when roots are thicker and stiff.
I get best results after making the combination keeping in a pot in the nursery for a year so it gets regular water and the roots get well established then into the grow bed if it still needs more size.
Beware of putting small ROR in the ground. The tree can easily grow far too big for the rock in just one season.
 

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