Steve's root over rock hackberry

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Steve's root over rock hackberry

Post  steveb on Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:47 am

The weather was nice so I decided to open a late Christmas present.  I am always pleasantly surprised when I expose roots growing over a rock each spring.  I know it is early, but, I only removed about 1/4 of the roots, and, I keep it in a garage that never drops below 35F.

This is a hackberry that I collected as a seedling from my backyard a couple of years ago.  I put it over a rock last spring. (That is plastic wrap and duct tape.)  Looks like it is starting to bind to the rock pretty well.  I need to leave it alone for a few years (3-5) and let it thicken.  The trunk is about 1/2" in diameter

I thought I would post to show its humble beginnings and as a way of documenting its progress.  

Comments are welcome.    


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Re: Steve's root over rock hackberry

Post  JimLewis on Mon Jan 19, 2015 3:02 pm

I assume you are covering it up again? I hope.

This smacks -- a bit -- like those folks who HAVE to wiggle a cutting to "check on it." That usually destroys any new roots. Your tree on a rock will be putting out fine roots too, and you do the exact same thing when you fiddle with it like this. A decent ROR takes several YEARS to look anything like natural.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Steve's root over rock hackberry

Post  steveb on Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:40 pm

I agree that I did jump the gun on the repot. However, the 10 day forecast has lows in the mid thirties and my garage will stay 10F warmer. Also, you can see that I have a mass of roots and I removed less that 1/4 of them.

You are right that the tree will take many years to develop. From the 3 or 4 ROR bonsai I've grown that are starting to mature, the most difficult part is getting the stinking roots to grow over the rock. Even with a helper it isn't easy bind tree to rock - this assumes they are compatible to begin with. The easiest part is to let the tree grow, which I will.

I will take your advice and cover the exposed part with mulch, just to make sure. I can re-expose in the spring.

Thanks for replying.

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Re: Steve's root over rock hackberry

Post  leatherback on Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:54 am

Being at risk of mis-interpreting Jim.. I thnk Jim meant: Put some mulch arount the roots & rock, wrap up with foil again (I find that cling flim works wonders) and then put back in the ground for more years.

I have some rpojects running as well, with the tallest plant now well over 7ft tall, 1" trunk from a 2month old seedling. All summer I water between the rock and the foil, to ensure root-development around the roch, rather than in the soil.

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Re: Steve's root over rock hackberry

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:36 pm

Being at risk of mis-interpreting Jim.. I thnk Jim meant: Put some mulch arount the roots & rock, wrap up with foil again (I find that cling flim works wonders) and then put back in the ground for more years.

Yes. Then hang a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the pot!

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Steve's root over rock hackberry

Post  steveb on Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:40 pm

I did mis-interpret Jim, but, I will do just that. I have other trees that have been in the ground for years but none of my RORs. I seem to have a mental block where I want to put a ROR in a pot once the roots start clinging to the rock. That cycle is now broken.

I'll wrap it up and bury it tomorrow, then hang the sign Smile

Thanks for the advice guys!

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Re: Steve's root over rock hackberry

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:28 pm

Bring this thread up again in about 2 years.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Steve's root over rock hackberry

Post  steveb on Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:07 am

I used plastic wrap and a little electrical tape to tighten the grip of the roots to the rock.  I then filled a hole with potting soil up to the bottom of the rock and planted the tree.  I filled the hole around the rock with pea gravel, then watered well.  I've seen sand used and often wondered why.  I thinking that the weight of the gravel will force the roots close to the rock.  

Anyway, it's buttoned up and won't be disturbed for a while.

I'll rethread in two years.  Can't wait!









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Re: Steve's root over rock hackberry

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