Best Type of Rock For Bonsai

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Rocks for bonsai planting

Hey everyone, so today we’re going to talk a little bit about what i look for when i’m searching for rocks and looking at rocks to use for root over rock bonsai all right. So i’ve got five rocks here on the table and i’m gonna go through each one of these and just kind of talk about what i like about it and what i don’t like about it uh.

Bonsai volcanic rock

So, first up, let’s start with this, which is a type of lava. You can see that it’s relatively porous there are. Is you know it’s a dark color and it’s got some nice shape to it. I generally don’t like lava rock, but uh.

This piece is actually kind of interesting, and so i i might consider using this one thing to keep in mind with lava rock, though, is that frequently it can easily break, and sometimes especially with black pines, you can end up having the tree crush the rock.

Decorative rocks for bonsai

So a big chunk of the rock might break off as a result of the pressure from the roots once the trees actually established and starting to create some wood. So the second one i have here is what’s called napa fieldstone and we can get this here in northern california for dirt cheap literally, you can get it most stone yards and people use it for stacked rock walls and whatnot.

Now, it’s not really my favorite, because it’s hard to find interesting shapes this is actually. This particular piece is a little bit more interesting than a lot of the ones you see they’re, more sort of like round boulders, so i can imagine using this for a bonsai, but it’s not my favorite, because there’s not a whole lot of interest in the color.

This side is very flat, as you can see, and and the the shapes on this side are not very interesting. So it’s it’s, certainly something that you could use and if i was going to use it i would. I would want to carefully sort of consider how i was putting the tree on it all right.

So now these other three i’ve got two that came out of uh out of creek locations and one that came out of just like a rock slide on the side of a mountain uh. So, let’s start with the the creek stones now in suiseki, the the rounded nature of a stone is is part of the aesthetic you suseki just means water stone in japanese, and so these guys are from a part of the creek where they’re not too rounded uh, Not like a gravel or something like that and i’ve picked them based on the you know, the coloration, the minerals and the sort of overall shape.

So this one’s kind of cool uh – maybe you could orient it like this or you could orient it like this. You have to kind of think about the orientation that you’re going to use the use the stone so that you can think about what it’s going to look like in the final composition.

So nice dense mineral. It would be very difficult for me to break this stone, and that makes it a good candidate for using for a root over rock bonsai all right. This guy is also from a creek, and you can see it has more of these like pockets and stuff, and this is this kind of interest is stuff that i really find uh useful in creating root over rock bonsai and even like rock plantings and whatnot.

So we can think about the orientation there’s a flat side here on the bottom. We could orient it like this or we could kind of turn it up and make it oriented like that, so that you can see these these openings on the sides, um kind of want to go through and and and think about what this is going to look Like sort of as uh part of your part of your composition, part of the trunk of your tree in the finished composition, one thing i’ll say is that i don’t really like the light, colored minerals that are mixed in here.

So if i was going to use this stone, i would probably try to minimize the appearance of those either by putting the patches that are white on the bottom or you know away from the main uh intended front.

All right and the last stone i have here is uh just from a rock slide, and basically you can see how angular it is. You can see there are sort of some faceting here and it’s also got some lichen on it.

It was uh just in a big pile of rocks. This is the kind of thing that i prefer now. This is a very dark mineral and it’s dry right now, so it’ll be even darker when it’s wet or if it started to develop a patina after many years, but it’s not just black or dark brown.

It also has some sort of little patches of of other colors in it, and i think, more importantly than that, though, is the is the sort of interest that these facets create, and it just creates all kinds of possibilities that you can use.

Uh with your with your tree um, this is one of my favorite ones that i collected on a trip up to black butte reservoir uh near orland, california um. So, if you guys are in california and want to want to go up there, you could you could check it out again um when you’re looking for for stones for bonsai think outside the box a little bit.

You can pick up stones from inside of a creek or you can pick up stones from rock slides on a hike or something like that, and look at the shapes. Look at the color of the stone. Make sure that it’s a hard stone, not something.

That’S just going to fall apart, like a shale or something like that, and good luck with making your root over rock compositions thanks guys,

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