How to Grow a Bonsai Tree on a Rock
Revised 03 Aug 2011
12922 views |
Introduction To Bonsai Tree Rock Plantings
The sight of trees growing in or on rocks can be quite dramatic, as these trees have to struggle to find nutrients in a harsh environment. With Bonsai this kind of landscape is imitated, often using pine trees. This guide will describe in detail how to create a rock planting.
When You Should Start Your Trees
Planting trees on a rock should be done during the spring season.
How to Create a Bonsai Tree Rock Planting
First of all, a suitable rock needs to be found; it should have many small cracks and holes in it providing the tree with space for growing roots (see photo 1). Now select the tree or trees you will use to plant the rock with; pine trees are often preferred but also deciduous trees can be used. The selected trees should be healthy and have long roots, therefore plant them in a large container at least a year before using them to create a rock planting. Finally, prepare the soil by mixing akadama and garden mold in a ratio of ½ to ½.
After having selected the rock and the tree, follow the step-by-step plan to create the rock planting:
1. Attach several copper wires with waterproof glue to the rock, which will be used to anchor the roots to the rock and in doing so stabilizing the tree (see photo 1). Instead of using copper wires you can also choose to use a material which will gradually fare, like cotton.
2. After the glue has dried place the rock in a bucket of water to wash off the dirt and soil.
3. Now take the tree out of its container and after having removed the soil carefully disentangle the roots.
4. Place the tree on the rock and spread the roots over the number of holes and cracks.
5. Anchor the roots to the rock with the glued copper wires, but be careful not to damage the fragile roots (see photo 2).
6. Finally, fill the holes and cracks with the prepared soil mixture and cover any exposed roots as well.
7. Use some moss to cover the surface, to protect it against erosion.
Aftercare for Bonsai Tree Rock Plantings
After having created the rock planting you can finish the composition by placing the rock on a flat scale. Prune the tree immediately after having planted it on the rock to lower the demand of nutrients from its root system. Start fertilizing a month later, as the limited amount of soil will easily lose its nutritional value. Also water regularly, as the soil will dry out quickly.
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