Here is a before and after of a Willow-Leaf Ficus (Ficus salicaria*) we repotted on a new stone slab recently. The old slab was most likely made using some sort of paper-crete process. Shredded newspaper, or similar materials, are mixed into the concrete batter, ultimately resulting in a much lighter product, with a comparable strength. The real issue here is that this slab has become too small for this large, clump-style tree.
As you can see in the after photo, the movement of the tree is more prominent now that it has a bit more breathing room. The texture and color of this Pennsylvania Blue Stone are more subtle and seem to agree better with the tree, especially the bark. It also is a bit more flat, and has less dimension. Often times placing a tree on this kind of slab will cause it to feel more secure, grounded, or confident in itself.
Once the position of the tree on the slab was confirmed, we covered the surface in new moss. By pinning it into place with tiny wire staples, we can be sure that the fresh soil does not wash away during waterings. Once the roots have established and taken hold of the soil confidently, the moss may be removed. Although, moss is great at helping to retain moisture, and most people will agree that it only adds aesthetically to the tree.
* Taxonomy constantly changes. The current name of this tree is generally believed to be Ficus nerifolia, Although, the name on the tree’s current identification tag reads Ficus salicaria, so I have referred to it as such.