BONSAI WORLD A series of articles by The Shikoku Shimbun focuses on the attractions of bonsai which encapsulate small universes in containers.

The attraction of Ishitsuki (trees clinging to a rock): Express natural beauty of deep mountains in garden

March 23, 2011

 "Ishitsuki (trees clinging to a rock)" is one of the styles of bonsai. It expresses the natural landscape of the trees resisting the strong wind in deep mountains and beaches. Mori Tsuneyoshi, Takase town in Mitoyo city in Kagawa, is well-known as the collector of Ishitsuki (trees clinging to a rock).

Make group planting at will

 Mori was fascinated in Ishitsuki (trees clinging to a rock) about 30 years ago. In those days, Ishitsuki (trees clinging to a rock) was unusual style and he was attracted by the technique expressing the nature with trees and stones. He started to collect the stones and grew many trees by cutting. And he drilled a hole into stones and planted trees there.

Bonsai shelf having many Ishitsuki (trees clinging to a rock)
Bonsai shelf having many Ishitsuki (trees clinging to a rock) in Mitoyo's Takase town

 In the parking area of Mori's caterer, there are over 100 trees of Ishitsuki (trees clinging to a rock). He has many Shinpaku (Chinese Juniper) and Sawara (Sawara Cypress). These trees are easy to cling to rocks and the thickness of roots makes little difference so the trees don't break the rocks. He likes a variety called "Ogon Kashiwa (Golden Oak)" in all Shinpaku (Chinese Juniper) trees. The sunlight brightens the leaves into beautiful gold. People can enjoy group planting of wild grasses and trees like Shinpaku (Chinese Juniper) and Ogon Kashiwa (Golden Oak), Nekoyanagi (pussy willow) and Shibazakura (moss phlox), and Boke (Flowering Quince) and Ogon Kashiwa (Golden Oak).

Shinpaku (Chinese Juniper) and Ogon Kashiwa (Golden Oak) planted in Suiganseki (Travertine) whose height is 78 centimeters
Shinpaku (Chinese Juniper) and Ogon Kashiwa (Golden Oak) planted in Suiganseki (Travertine) whose height is 78 centimeters

Work for most Zoki trees

 Suiganseki (Travertine) is good because it soaks up the water well and has the nutrient element of lime stones. Karuishi (pumice stone) is light and manageable, but sometimes it keeps too much water and causes root rot.

 The point of care is to make the hole large. Then, it is easy for trees to cling to a rock. In the hole, it is better to put Akadama (red ball soil) and Kakotsuchi (granite soil). However Ishitsuki (trees clinging to a rock) can work for most Zoki (trees except Pinaceae and Cupressaceae), it is difficult to grow pine trees. It is important to water as same as other bonsais, but growers can save their time for watering by putting the Ishitsuki (trees clinging to a rock) in water because the stone soaks the water up.

Mori takes care of his bonsai.
Mori takes care of his bonsai.

 Mori said, "I watch much scenery and reproduce the flavor of landscapes with stones and trees. It is difficult to get good stones recently. But I will try to make varied planting and express the great nature like precipices in China."
(By Shigeo Hano)

Comments(1)

jelix calboneroAugust 19, 2011 2:59 PM

First, i would like to express my gratitude to all bonsai lovers, because i learn a lot from them by explanations and ilustriations being given. I cannot emagine how they form their bonsai by art, time, patient. Without these three important factors bonsai making is not possible..

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