Thanks to Ross for suggesting this solution of placement and lighter ink for the roots, as I found the original placement awkward and forced by my concept after looking at it while in the submission phase.
This particular tree top is outside my door. I thought it was a sycamore, but it has turned red so I assume that means it's actually a maple? Kind of messes with my concept if so...
I used the Trinity Root sculpture by Steve Tobin in NYC as a general guide for the roots, should check that out if you're in the area.
I like trees, both aesthetically and conceptually. I think conceptually it has something to do with the constancy of these long-living forms. I can travel for years on end and still come back and see a tree I remember from my childhood unchanged. Something reassuring about that.