Bonsai Styles: Roots over rock

A 'Deshojo' Japanese maple


There is no quick way to produce a root over rock bonsai. I would advise that if you want a tree in this style, cutting's are your best method.

In the first year plant your cutting in a deep container to allow the roots to get long enough to be wrapped around the rock.



Year two and you can place the young tree over the rock. Before doing so a little preperation work is called for. Mix a paste of clay and peat and smear it over the rock in the places where you want the roots to be, taking care to position the roots around the rock, not just to one side. Cover the roots with more of the paste, and wrap the rock in a string, of a type that will rot away over time, and not damage the roots. Sisal string is ideal for this.

To achieve the maximum thickening of the roots as soon as possible, plant the tree in the ground and water it in well, or plant it in the biggest container available.


While in the ground, begin to develop the trunk and branch structure. The ideal way to do this is using the 'clip and grow' method,

Allow the tree a few years to thicken, then pot up an start to style the top.


Allen. C. Roffey 21:56 25/06/99