Grandmaster JinBodhi: If you really cannot find plants for your practice, I would suggest using a wooden stick rather than a metal rod. Grandmaster Ren once told me that the tree we practice around is a life being, and we grow as the tree grows. When we circle the tree, the tree becomes the medium that connects us to Nature. A metal rod conducts electricity and releases energies that are harmful to our health. As such, I prefer that we practice around plants or wooden sticks instead of metal rods. Also, I strongly disagree with the idea of circling an electric pole, especially after rainfall, as getting too close could get you electrocuted.