The Blue Ridge Bonsai Society supports and promotes the art of bonsai in the region around Asheville, NC. We meet together monthly, providing companionship, education, and workshops from beginner to advanced level and we exhibit in various shows during the year.
We can be contacted at email@example.com.
Goal: To help each member gain in knowledge of how to develop a show-quality bonsai.
Members are encouraged to create a written plan describing the future development of each tree. (This is useful for tracking what works and what does not.)
Be sure to come to our July meeting on "How to Judge a Bonsai Show," which will also help you to judge the stage of development of your own trees. (See below for details.)
2022 Meetings and Events
Starting in June, 2022, we will resume meeting at the Asheville Botanical Gardens Visitors' Center. If we meet elsewhere or need to use Zoom, you will receive an email before the meeting.
December 3 & 4: Winter Silhouette in Kannapolis, NC
November 13: Annual pot luck dinner and auction.
October 9: Jennifer Price will offer a workshop for a limited number of people in the morning and do a presentation for our regular meeting. Both events will be held at the NC Arboretum. (Details being discussed.) Click this link to see an interview with Jennifer from last year. https://www.bonsai-nbf.org/blog-archive/2021/7/16/future-of-bonsai-jennifer-price
September 11: Practice Bonsai Show: Members only. All members judge all members' trees to practice what we learned from Tyler Sherrod in July.
See Chris's email for the time schedule and the procedure we will follow at this meeting.
August 14: Bring a tree for wiring or other styling work. (No repotting.)
This session will be led by Rebecca Ayres, who is a BRBS member and also teaches bonsai courses at the NC Arboretum. You will need to bring your own tools and wire.
See Chris's email on July 26 for more detail.
Rebecca's slides illustrating good wiring can be downloaded from the Tips, Advice, and More page.
This meeting will be in the Etowah Golf Club pavilion. The driving directions are on the About Us page.
July 10: Tyler Sherrod discussed "How to Judge a Bonsai Show" with an enthusiastic group of members. We are all looking forward to our practice judging at our private club show in September.
See the Special Notices / Recent Events page for some pictures and Tyler's presentation.
You can find Tyler under Artists on our Resources page to see his resume and website. Tyler completed a 5-year apprenticeship in Japan and styled trees for the Kokufu exhibit. He now has a studio in Hickory.
Also on July 10th: Silent auction.
The club made $1,399 from this auction. We will have another in November.
June 12th - Workshop on initial styling at the Asheville Botanical Gardens. Bring a tree, wire, and your tools,
Advice and initial styling on our field trip trees from May and June.
May & June Field Trips -- More details in the right column
Saturday, May 7th
Saturday, May 28th
Saturday, June 4th
May 14 & 15: Our World Bonsai Day exhibit and activities at the NC Arboretum on both days.
We will have no regular club meeting in May.
April 10 - Three activities at the Etowah Golf Club Pavilion
In May, we will be holding a club exhibit and demonstrations in the Bonsai Pavilion at the NC Arboretum for World Bonsai Day. At the April meeting, members brought trees in various stages of development for possible inclusion in our World Bonsai Day display.
Rob Wallace, a professional ceramicist, did a special presentation at this meeting on how to choose the best pot for a particular bonsai. See the Special Notices /Recent Events page for Rob's presentation and pictures.
Sage Smith provided seedlings and young trees for sale and both Sage and Rob had pots for sale. A few other members also had bonsai for sale.
Mar 13 - Repotting workshop (Bring one tree.)
We met at the Etowah Golf Club Pavilion. Members discussed and repotted their trees. We started inside the Pavillion wearing masks, but moved outside into the sun and removed our masks.
See the Special Notices / Recent Events page for some pictures.
Feb 13 - Professional horticulturist and BRBS member Sage Smith, discussed propagation of young trees for future bonsai.
This was a ZOOM Meeting. The recording is on the Special Notices / Recent Events page.
Jan 9 2:00 - 4:00 pm - Jonas Johnson, a talented wood-worker and a BRBS member, discussed building grow-boxes and stands of various styles.
This was a ZOOM Meeting. The recording is on the Special Notices / Recent Events page.
Note: During the Jan. 9 meeting, we also voted to adopt the revised club by-laws presented to the membership by the Board of Directors.
See the Tips, Advice, and More page for a new source--VSANA: devoted to suiseki--viewing stones.
Our exhibit at Blue Spiral 1: Preparation
In June, 2023, members of our club, the BRBS, and five bonsai professionals will contribute trees to an exhibit of bonsai as fine art at the Blue Spiral 1 gallery in Asheville.
We need to start selecting members' trees now for this exhibit. Please see Chris Pazoles' email on 9/28/2022 for all the details, but here is a summary.
Ten trees belonging to BRBS members will be included in the exhibit. The bonsai professionals will contribute 10 more trees. Each BRBS member can exhibit at most two trees.
Send pictures of your proposed trees to Chris. Pictures must be a minimum of 300 dpi resolution and against a white backdrop. Feel free to send pictures of more than two trees. Include the pot dimensions for each tree.
The deadline for sending pictures to Chris is October 31, but please send them as soon as you can, especially for deciduous trees before their leaves fall. We need to know what the trees will look like in June when they will have leaves.
Selection of club members’ trees for display in the exhibition will be based on input from Arthur Joura, the Bonsai Curator at the NC Arboretum, and from the BRBS Board of Directors, and from the Blue Spiral 1 gallery.
Jennifer Price Events: Saturday and Sunday, October 8th and 9th
All events on both days will be held in the
Education Center at the NC Arboretum.
The Arboretum is waiving parking fees for
BRBS members for all these events.
“Elegant Redesign”: On Saturday, October 8th from 10:00 am to 2:30
Jennifer Price will restyle a tree belonging to the NC Arboretum bonsai collection and chosen by the Curator, Arthur Joura. The fee to attend is $24 and must be paid directly to the Arboretum. Click the link below to register: This link may not be live until 7:00 pm on Sept. 11th.
There will be two events on Sunday, October 9th. Both are sponsored by our club, BRBS.
Workshop: initial styling of a Sekka juniper Fee: $90 (includes tree)
This workshop will be held in two sessions: 9:30 – 11:00 am or Noon to 1:30 pm. Each session is limited to 8 participants so everyone gets lots of Jennifer’s time. You need to bring your own tools and wire. (No repotting will be done.)
2:00 - 4:00 pm. Our regular BRBS Meeting: Consultations on members trees: No Fee
“Tree Inspiration” - Jennifer’s ideas for further design of individual members’ trees. Bring one or two trees for Jennifer’s analysis and advice. She will discuss one tree for each person and additional trees if there is time.
We expect the Saturday demonstration and Sunday morning workshops to fill quickly. Registration for both Sunday events wIll use a Google form sent to you by email. Chris sent you a “heads-up” email about this on 9/9 with an update on 9/11.
Those who respond first will be registered first. The deadline for registration (in case the activity is not already full) is September 18. Fees must be paid by September 25 or your registration will be cancelled.
Winter Silhouette 2022
August update on this December event:
All the seats for the banquet are now sold.
Click the following link to see the whole update from Steve Zeisel:
New!! BRBS Monthly Bonsai Tips
On our last member survey, the most requested addition to our club information was a short, clear statement of what each of us should be doing for our bonsai each month, correct for our geography.
A small committee of our most experienced members--Felix Laughlin, Peggy Snow, and Troy Schmidt--has volunteered for this task, and the first three Monthly Bonsai Tips--for June, July, and August--are now found on the Tips, Advice, and More page.
Also, thanks to Bjorn Byorholm, for sharing with us his excellent summary on "Pesticides and Insecticides."
New: "Shag Rug" method of creating a bonsai forest on a rock.
See the Tips, Advice, and More page for a PPt presentation by Danny Coffey on creating a forest on a rock: "Shag Rug" method.
World Bonsai Convention 2022--Virtual!
Every four years, the World Bonsai Friendship Federation sponsors an international World Bonsai Conference. This year, the conference will be physically in Perth, Australia, but attendence will be "virtual"--online.
Details, including a booklet you can download and the WBFF website link are on our Special Notices page.
American Bonsai Association Sacramento
62nd Annual Exhibit
Click the link below to see Jonas Dupuich' photos of some very beautiful trees from this exhibit.
From there, you can also hear his audio recording of the critique at this show.
Jonas is responsible for the Bonsai Tonight newsletter and Bonsai Wire podcast.
News on the Stewartia Forest
At the November, 2019 meeting, Felix Laughlin discussed the design of forests, and then--with some help from other members--constructed a Stewartia forest.
See the Photo Gallery page for an update on this forest at 2 years old.
Thanks to Jonas Dupuich of Bonsai Tonight
for posting these.
Save the date: This year the World Bonsai Friendship Federation will host the 9th World Bonsai Convention. Originally slated to be held in Perth, Australia, the event will now be virtual.
An impressive roster of international demonstrators are participating, and there will be a large marketplace and online auction. This event runs from October 8 to October 16 and attendees are welcome to participate from all over the world. Learn more at worldbonsaiconvention.com.
New organization: This week Carmen Leskoviansky and Samantha Holm launched the Purple Pot Society, an organization whose mission is "To support, encourage, and inspire female bonsai artists and advocate for diversity and inclusion of all underrepresented groups within the bonsai community.
Carmen and Samantha spell out the idea for the Society in a recent episode of the Bonsai Wire Podcast. You can also find them on Facebook.
Bonsai at the NC Arboretum
Other Adult Education Opportunities
at the NC Arboretum
In addition to events related to bonsai, the NC Arboretum offers a wide range of classes in horticulture, landscape design, plants and animals, photography, contemplation and wellness taught by expert instructors. All classes--online, onsite, and outdoors--are open to the public with discounts for Arboretum members.
Nature walks and field experiences follow COVID protocols for all participants regardless of their vaccination status.
Click the link below to go
directly to the description of Adult Education courses on the Arboretum website:
For more information, feel free to call NC Arboretum Adult Education Programs at 828-665-2492 or email
A National Bonsai Foundation Profile of Arthur Joura, the Bonsai Curator at the NC Arboretum, can be seen at the following link:
Appalachian Bonsai video of Arthur's "A Radical Redesign" demo
Last year, Arthur gave a live demo at the Arboretum of the radical redesign of a shimpaku bonsai. Ben Kirkland has condensed it to 24 minutes for his YouTube channel, Appalachian Bonsai. Enjoy.
New: International BONSAI Online
In 1979, William Valavanis and Yuji Yoshimura launched International BONSAI magazine type-set with state-of-the-art four-color film photographs.
42 years and 164 issues later, Bill Valavanis has decided to retire this beautiful printed version and replace it with a free digital bimonthly magazine; International BONSAI OnLine:
Here is the link to sign up:
New: Bonsai Podcast
Jonas Dupuich, the author of the wonderful website and illustrated blog "Bonsai Tonight", and Michael Hagadorn, author of the new book Bonsai Heresy, and some of their friends are now recording podcasts of conversations with bonsai experts.
Both the blog and the podcasts are available from:
More Suggested Activities:
The Washington Post has a really beautiful article on Young Choe. Click here to read it:
Take care of your trees and write their histories!
Some of our most experienced members got together and designed a document to help you do this. Download a copy here. You an use the Word version of the document if you want to add pictures of your trees.
Learn more! (Have you looked at all the best known references?) Go to the Library page of this website to download our new one-page bonsai reference list. One-page map to wisdom!