Recently I was involved in a discussion about displaying bonsai without moss on soil surface. I am aware of the arguments for root health conferred by a layer of moss but leaving moss on seems to be an artistically bad idea in at least some instances. I was taught(and believe) that our bonsai should tell a story. Moss growing under trees as a stand in for grass makes sense on trees representing a "lowlands" scenario but what about Yamadori. I have multiple Ponderosa pines collected up in inhospitable environs with little in the way of lush green grass. Wouldn't it make sense to grow our Yamadori with a layer of milled sphagnum which we would then remove before shows. The moss would enhance root growth but would not distort the story we are telling. I am not offering this as a definite answer but rather as some musings. I hope for others to offer their thoughts.
Depends on your personal taste and where you live. Moss growing in a semi-arid part of the country is difficult. There is one show in the country that requires your tree be completely moss'd. Another concern is birds and tree rats attack the moss and destroy it. I like moss and I like trees that are partially moss'd, as well as trees with no moss. If you think about it maybe the tree should be shown with a bunch on dead needles sprinkled over the surface of the soil. A lot people here just use a little moss around the trunk of the tree and use some kind of tiny rocks etc over the rest of the surface.
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