Root over rock/Clinging to rock- watering and inspection of planting made easy.

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Root over rock/Clinging to rock- watering and inspection of planting made easy.

Post  lennard on Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:58 pm

For those who are interested in root with rock styles I am experimenting with a new covering for these plantings:

http://lennardsbonsaibeginnings.blogspot.com/2012/10/experimental-root-over-rock-technique.html

Any recommendations and comments can be posted here.

Lennard

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Re: Root over rock/Clinging to rock- watering and inspection of planting made easy.

Post  yamasuri on Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:48 pm

I like styroform foam use for holding roots. It should nicely copy rock shape. Might try some day. Any negatives? Toxic to plant?

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Re: Root over rock/Clinging to rock- watering and inspection of planting made easy.

Post  Carolee on Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:06 pm

An interesting technique. I look forward to seeing its progress.

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Re: Root over rock/Clinging to rock- watering and inspection of planting made easy.

Post  Poink88 on Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:19 pm

Seems like a good technique but isn't it simpler to just wrap the planting with saran wrap? I like it better since you can see in to check root growth. Thoughts on this?

I can see the advantage of having the insulation in colder areas though.

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Re: Root over rock/Clinging to rock- watering and inspection of planting made easy.

Post  marcus watts on Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:47 pm

really interesting and well thought about process - but why do you think it is better than the traditional method of binding the rots to the rock and planting in the ground or a deep pot?

cheers Marcus

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Re: Root over rock/Clinging to rock- watering and inspection of planting made easy.

Post  Poink88 on Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:55 pm

marcus watts wrote: - but why do you think it is better than the traditional method of binding the rots to the rock and planting in the ground or a deep pot?
Marcus,
I personally do not like the roots straying away from the rock when planted deep. That is why I also consider plain wrapping with saran wrap like an air layer...just less moss/soil, and force the roots downward and into the rock.

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Re: Root over rock/Clinging to rock- watering and inspection of planting made easy.

Post  lennard on Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:15 pm

yamasuri wrote:Any negatives? Toxic to plant?

At this stage I have not notice any negatives. The young Ficus trees have already budded out and they seem to be healthy. I do hope the roots don't like the styrofoam and stay close to the rock. The styrofoam do help to keep the roots cool and moist: the day after I demonstrated the technique I went on holiday early the next morning and I forgot the planting in full sun. The week on holiday temperatures went up to 35 degrees Celsius at home. I expected the trees to die but when I came back they were still okay!

Thanks for the reply.

Lennard

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Re: Root over rock/Clinging to rock- watering and inspection of planting made easy.

Post  lennard on Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:42 pm

marcus watts wrote:really interesting and well thought about process - but why do you think it is better than the traditional method of binding the rots to the rock and planting in the ground or a deep pot?

cheers Marcus

Marcus, I have used the traditional way but with bigger and vertical side rocks I have found that it is difficult to get new roots growing close to the rock. Burying a rock as large as this one or planting it in a pot is going to very difficult and to follow the progress of the roots and digging it out every time will probably damage the roots.

Thanks for the reply.

Lennard

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Re: Root over rock/Clinging to rock- watering and inspection of planting made easy.

Post  lennard on Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:05 pm

Poink88 wrote:Seems like a good technique but isn't it simpler to just wrap the planting with saran wrap? I like it better since you can see in to check root growth. Thoughts on this?

I have always used the wrap method before this one and with some rocks I will still use it.

The styrofoam technique especially works well with bigger and rocks with vertical sides. On this kind of rocks getting the soil to cling to the rock and wrapping it with saran wrap the same time is not so easy. On this planting there is only 4 roots going right down to the base so I need more. There is only about 1cm of soil between the rock and the mould and I hope new roots will stay as close as possible to the rock. To inspect this the mould will be removed in about 2-3 months time if I am satisfied with the top growth. The soil will be hosed down and roots will rearranged or removed. The cover will be put back and fresh soil will be added.

With most of the saran wrap plantings I have done the plastic gets very dirty very soon so it also have to be removed to inspect the roots.

Watering and feeding the planting is made easy by the "lip" on top. I have found it difficult in the past to water coned shaped root over rock plantings because the wrap close up the top of the planting.

On holiday in the Kruger National Park I noticed again that most natural Ficus root on rock trees the roots are formed over the rock without being covered by anything - the humidity in summer is high enough for the roots to survive while creeping over the rock. I am thinking of keeping one of these plantings in my hothouse - with the added humidity I do believe roots will form inside the planting without any soil and they will cling/creep very close to the rock.

Thanks for the interest.

Lennard


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Re: Root over rock/Clinging to rock- watering and inspection of planting made easy.

Post  lennard on Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:07 pm

Carolee wrote:An interesting technique. I look forward to seeing its progress.

Thanks for the reply- will update regularly.

Lennard

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Re: Root over rock/Clinging to rock- watering and inspection of planting made easy.

Post  Poink88 on Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:36 pm

lennard wrote:On this kind of rocks getting the soil to cling to the rock and wrapping it with saran wrap the same time is not so easy.
Isn't this why you should use muck? I bet putting the pre-casted foam is easier though.

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Re: Root over rock/Clinging to rock- watering and inspection of planting made easy.

Post  Bob Pressler on Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:26 pm

Another way of getting the roots to really mesh to the rock is to use bondo!
Do the muck and plastic wrap as usual then cover that with a wet paper tool and a double layer of aluminum foil. Then mix up enough bondo to cover the rock sides and apply to the rock. The bondo heats as it cures which is why you want the wet towels and foil. It also really compresses the roots into the rock, especially if you've laid them in cracks and crevices. Just make sure that the bottom is open. Then you can plant it in a training pot until the roots grow enough into the soil. The result are roots that are molded to the stone.

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Re: Root over rock/Clinging to rock- watering and inspection of planting made easy.

Post  Poink88 on Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:14 pm

Bob,

Not sure what the bondo will do after it is already wrapped in saran. I thought by that time, the roots are set where they are and won't push out anymore. Note I imagine they are secured to the rock with raffia or other ties/means before saran wrapping. New roots for sure will just stay within the confines of the wrap also. I just want to avoid unnecessary steps if possible.

What am I missing?

Thank you.

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Re: Root over rock/Clinging to rock- watering and inspection of planting made easy.

Post  Bob Pressler on Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:41 pm

It can take quite awhile for the roots to be set permanentlydepending on the plant several years. The saran wrap and raffia eventually have some give in them and allow the roots to sometimes come lose from the rock.The bondo keeps the roots pressed against the rock tightly so they end up looking almost like they were poured over the rock rather than placed on it. It does'nt have any give so as the roots thicken they stay tight to the rock instead of having gaps like they can with other methods.

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Re: Root over rock/Clinging to rock- watering and inspection of planting made easy.

Post  lennard on Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:24 pm

More or less what I want to achieve with this planting:

https://i37.servimg.com/u/f37/14/87/30/58/the_ro11.jpg

Any comments welcome.

Lennard

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Update Ficus

Post  lennard on Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:52 pm

The tree has grown very well this season and here is a pic December 2012:



I actually forgot that I used a cable tie to pull the three trunks together for the planting and it has cut into the trunk:



I removed the cable tie a few days ago. The wound will heal and I got some new roots going just above the cable tie wound. There are a lot of roots showing at the base.

Will wait till late spring before opening it.

Lennard


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Re: Root over rock/Clinging to rock- watering and inspection of planting made easy.

Post  leatherback on Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:14 pm

It almost looks like the cable-tie is completely covered by bark. WOuld leaving it in place not be better? The bark will eventually grow overit, won;t it?

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Re: Root over rock/Clinging to rock- watering and inspection of planting made easy.

Post  lennard on Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:46 am

leatherback wrote:It almost looks like the cable-tie is completely covered by bark. WOuld leaving it in place not be better? The bark will eventually grow overit, won;t it?

I was thinking of leaving it but at the end decided to remove it. The operation to remove it was not so difficult. Hurting the cambium when removing it will probably give me more roots, so no damage done.

Thanks for the reply.

Lennard

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Re: Root over rock/Clinging to rock- watering and inspection of planting made easy.

Post  Andre Beaurain on Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:36 pm

Very very interesting Lennard!

The leaves of your ficus are an exceptionally green in colour....why?

Does it live in the shade?

Is that the chicken manure and Horse bedding?

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Re: Root over rock...

Post  stonener on Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:49 am

Did I miss it?
Forgive me for asking?
But what kind of ficus did you say this was?... Suspect
It sure looks like Pyracantha coccinea to me!
But I've been wrong before... Basketball



just asking?

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Re: Root over rock/Clinging to rock- watering and inspection of planting made easy.

Post  Andre Beaurain on Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:55 am

Its Ficus Nataleinsis..... I'm pretty sure.

Isn't it , Lennard?

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Re: Root over rock/Clinging to rock- watering and inspection of planting made easy.

Post  Andre Beaurain on Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:05 am

......natalensis.........I better make sure about my spelling these days, I put my head on a block! hhihihihihihiih albino

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Colour

Post  lennard on Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:06 pm

Andre Beaurain wrote:Very very interesting Lennard!

The leaves of your ficus are an exceptionally green in colour....why?

Does it live in the shade?

Is that the chicken manure and Horse bedding?

The cuttings I used was given to me by Charles Ceronio and it is a variety of Ficus natalensis having red twigs when young and this darker leaves. The tree is also growing very fast - I keep the tree in full sun in a warm spot the whole day and I believe the "hothouse" around the roots and feeding it with Nitrosol adds to the lush growth.

Sadly there is no room for the chicken and horse bedding mulch.

Lennard

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For those who are following the progression.

Post  lennard on Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:28 pm

I have opened the planting today and I am very happy with the outcome:

http://lennardsbonsaibeginnings.blogspot.com/2012/10/experimental-root-over-rock-technique.html

Very Happy 

Any advice or comments welcome.

Lennard

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Hardening of the roots.

Post  lennard on Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:05 pm

I have gradually removed the covering to harden of the roots:



The three cuttings has fused completely and some air roots are forming.



The tree will be left to grow freely like this until late spring.

Lennard




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Re: Root over rock/Clinging to rock- watering and inspection of planting made easy.

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