The rock style (ishi-zuke) and the rock-rooted style (ne-agari) differ according to whether the roots of the plants reach the ground or not. This style tends to reproduce situations that are widespread in nature. For a good effect it is necessary that plants, pots and rocks form a harmonious and natural whole. The stones can be seen as boulders, on which the tree rests, or as real mountains, when the trees placed in the pot are proportionally small compared to the context. This style is particularly suitable for conifers, but can also be used successfully on hardwoods such as pyracantha, beech, zelkova and elm. Maple is also widely used.
The ne-agari style is little known today, but in the past it enjoyed a certain popularity also thanks to its beauty. The peculiarity of this style concerns the fact that the roots are perfectly visible, because they are exposed, and follow the trend of the trunk even for long stretches. The overall sensation is that of a plant floating in the air and there is a sense of charm, mystery and lightness. The style symbolizes the growth of the plant even in hostile conditions, such as lack of soil due to floods or landslides. In this case, the plant must keep its roots exposed to survive. Making this style is not easy, and is recommended for those who already have some bonsai experience.