In this style the roots of the tree grow in matter contained within the cracks and holes of the rock. Trees grown in a rock roots will double in size if compared to the same age and size of a tree grown in a bonsai pot. This is because of how quickly the planting dries in comparison; this means it must be watered twice as much. In this style the shaping of the tree can be wild and irregular like that of trees facing harsh winds in high altitudes, or the tree may show a closer relationship to the rock’s shape, growing close to the rock and following its contours.
Advantages of Ishizuke
Are the freedoms in which we can create. The style of the trees can be formal or completely non-traditional; this is great for the mind because there are no limits to which we are held. Also as with root-over-rock style there is a stone that is a key feature. Another advantage is we have the ability to create a composition within the image, using a rock, multiple trees, and even accent plantings. The ability to use multiple tree varieties is a great advantage because we can show different seasons by planting deciduous and non-deciduous material, some will lose leaf while other hold strong through the winter months.
Disadvantages of Ishitsuki
Include the quick drying time of the roots, and size of composition. The lack of soil within the rock means lack of water retention. This means we have to water a lot in comparison to our potted trees, and much more care must be taken as to placement in our garden and how much intense direct sunlight the planting receives. Another thing to consider is the size of the rock in the planting, like root-over-rock trees grow quickly in this style and the rock we choose must be larger than we would like at first, allowing the Bonsai to fill into the rock over time.
Broadleaf to evergreen species are applicable to this style. For a natural looking display think about adding accent plants that change with the seasons to add a little more interest if you use something like a spruce that stays green year round.
- Japanese Maple (Acer Palmatum)
- Japanese White Pine (Pinus subgenus Strobus)
- Black Pine (Pinus thunbergii
- Juniper (Juniperus sp.)
- Spruce (Picea sp.
- Olive (Olea sp.)