Here's a little Sierra I collected. I really love the deadwood on this tree, especially that hole near the center.
This turned out to be one of the easiest to collect so far. The tree had one larger root growing down in between a granite crack. It also had a nice pad of feeder roots growing on top of a flat slab of granite. I was able to use a large flat chisel and get under the root mat and then cut the root going into the crack with the chisel. Then I lifted the whole tree up with a nice flat pad of fibrous roots. I wish they were all this easy to collect!
This trees fine mat of roots was not growing in much soil. However there was a thick pad of moss I removed from the surface of the soil before taking these pictures. I believe the moss helped to keep the roots from drying out too quickly, just like we sometimes use chopped spagnum moss on the surface of trees to keep them from drying too fast.