Good tree species for rock planting?

Never really been interested in creating a rock planting until I recently found a great rock that I’d like to try to utilize. What are some good tree species for rock plantings?

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Hi Farley, any tree can be used, it all depends on what sort of rock landscape you want to portray. Junipers, larch and pines are particularly good for rough, rugged landscapes whereas deciduous and broadleaf evergreens can be used effectively on softer looking landscapes (particularly windswept scenes) but can also be used to provide depth and colour when using conifers.


Keith makes good points. It also depends upon what type of rock planting you are planning. Most species can be plated in a rock (just make sure it drains) and nearly as many can be planted on a rock instead of a pot, but the roots will be dryer. Root over rock plantings generally use trees that continue to develop strong roots after they are exposed. The most common are trident maple and Japanese black pine. I also like Scots pine. I know there are many exceptions to this list, but those are the most common and therefore most likely the easiest.

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Is it going to be a tree in a rock or a tree growing over a rock? I’ve started my schefflera down this path. It’ll be a root over rock.

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Thanks all,

What I had in mind was a root over rock. Based on y’alls feedback, I’m not sure I have the right tree for what I’m imagining. Interesting discussion though! Thanks for the feeback and input!

Any species will work. The issue is that it needs to be a funky tree. That’ doesn’t mean that a “plain” tree can’t be eventually made into something funky. The issue is that a root over rock is a bold statement. You can’t top that off with a run of the mill tree.

That said, my schefflera is pretty “plain” right now. My plan is to get the root over rock going and as that is being developed I’m going to develop the top of the tree.