Old roots close to the end of the trunk must be displayed on the surface in a radical fashionable way, roots symbolize stability and strength.
When you grow bonsai you should aim to grow a lot of fine hair roots.
It is part of the philosophy of Bonsai to expose strong surface roots which symbolize strength and stability. The roots, as they leave the trunk, should be exposed. This gives the impression of a powerful tree anchored into the ground. We do not want to create the impression of a stick poking into the ground. This root flare is called ‘Nebari’.
The root structure should ideally be close to the tree. We want a lot of fine roots close to the tree; roots must not be twisted around the inside of the pot. Roots displayed on the surface must not cross each other if so the crossed root or roots must be removed.
An example of handsome nebari or exposed thick roots. The roots extend outwards from a tapering trunk and are seen to anchor the tree firmly