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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. 
Goal: To help each member gain in knowledge of how to develop a show-quality bonsai.

We can be contacted at

2024 Meetings and Events

In general, when the meeting place availability and meeting content allows, the time from 1:00-2:00 pm will be available for informal conversation, tree advice, and sharing. The formal meeting will be from 2:00 - 4:00 pm.

2024 Upcoming Meetings​​


April 14:  Woodfin Community Center                

  • 1:00-4:00

  • Bring a tree to share/work on

  • Trees available for Sale from a couple of our Club Members that will be priced very favorably. Take advantage of this!

May 5:   Woodfin Community Center                

  • Create a kusamono workshop led by club member Peggy Snow 

    • AM session: 10am-12pm

    • PM session:  1pm-3pm

  • NOTE- for registered Club Members only- no observers please

May 11/12:  NC Arboretum    

  • Celebration of World Bonsai Day weekend; club display; club demos (no May Club Meeting).

June 9:  Woodfin Community Center   

  • 1:00-2:00  Work/Collaborate on a tree

  • 2:00-4:00  Club Member Jonas Johnson will bring in his young Shimpaku and start it’s next artistic journey demonstrating branch removal and deadwood creation. He will also discuss cleaning, wiring, pest control and the fertilization of Junipers too.

July 14:  BRBS Summer Picnic    

  • 1:00-4:00 

  • Summer picnic for Club Members hosted by Peggy Snow in Asheville with a BBQ lunch from Louella’s ($5 per person). A couple of Member side dishes and dessert contributions, will be all the merrier! 

2023 Completed Meetings

Jan. 8 -  Meeting at the Asheville Botanical Gardens

Presentation by bonsai professional Daniel Coffey on the development of deciduous bonsai, using trident maples as an example. He also had some small trees for sale.

Note: All members who ordered potting compound materials from the Bonsai Learning Center picked up their orders at this meeting.


PLANNED Feb. 12 -  Meeting at Bullington Gardens in Hendersonville. This is the first time we have met at this location. See their website for driving directions:

12:00-2:00 pm: Repotting workshop - the basics. Chris will cover this information at the meeting using his PPT which you can download on the "Tips, Advice, and More" page. If this is your firt repotting, experienced members will be ther to answer questions and help you

2:00-4:00 pm: Everyone bring a tree for any kind of work, including repotting, or just advice and comments.

ACTUAL MEETING: Because of forecast freezing rain and snow, we actually met from 1:30  to 4:00 for the repotting presentation and worked on members' trees.

Saturday, Feb. 18 - Field Trip:  Stone and tree-collecting trip to member Greg Hinson's property close to Spartanburg.

Mar. 12 -  Meeting at NC Arboretum. (Education Bldg)

Arthur Joura, the Bonsai Curator at the Arboretum, restyled an old Chinese Hackberry. More than simply showing what to do, Arthur explained the thought process behind working with an older, established plant when shaping it to be a miniature expression of a great old tree in nature.

Note: This event was open to the public. BRBS members had a short business meeting starting at 1:00. Arthur's presenation started at 2:00 pm.

Apr. Field Trip to Mountain Meadows Nursery and New Leaf Garden Market. See Stuart Roger's email on March 17th

Apr. 2 Meeting. RESCHEDULED FROM APR. 16At Bullington Gardens

Hands on session: Wiring and/or initial styling of members' trees.

May 7 Meeting.  At Asheville Botanical Gardens

Make Yourself a Kusamono workshop led by Peggy Snow.

Note: This was open only to BRBS members who had paid their dues for 2023.

There were two sessions:

10:30 am - 12:30 pm or 2:00 - 4:00 pm. 

Instructions  to members:

  • Register for one session using email from Chris. Registration deadline is April 1.

  • Bring a pot, tools, and wire and moss. Everything else will be provided. Fee of $5 to be paid in cash or by check at the event to help defray the cost of the plants. 

May 13 & 14 -  World Bonsai Day with club activities at the at NC Arboretum on both days. Club members  displayed trees, did demos, and answered questions from visitors.

June 2 through 11 -  Our exhibit of "Bonsai as Fine Art" was held at the Blue Spiral Gallery in Asheville with associated activities at the NC Arboretum. 

See the "Bonsai as Fine Art" webpage.


July 9 - 1:00 - 4:00 pm. A picnic for members at Peggy Snow's house in Asheville. A BBQ lunch from Louella's was provided for $5 per person. 

Aug. 13 Meeting. Woodfin Community Center

"How to prepare trees for a bonsai show and how to judge bonsai." This was preparation for our BRBS show in October when our trees will be judged by our members and also by as by bonsai professional Daniel Coffey.

Members each brought a tree of their own to work on at this meeting, and Chris led of review of the judging guidelines we received from bonsai professional Tyler Sherrod last year. You can download the guidelines here: 

Sept. 17.  Meeting at the Bonsai Learning Center at 193 Volt Circle in Statesville, NC. 

This was a great afternoon at the Learning Center owner with bonsai professional, Brad Russell who presented an informative program. There were also pots, tools, and trees at all stages of development available for purchase. Brad offered club members a $5 discount on soil.

Oct. 8 Meeting - Asheville Botanical Garden

BRBS Club Bonsai Show 

This show displayed club members' trees.  Its purpose, besides being fun, was to give members more practice in judging trees. 

Oct. 14 Workshops

Bonsai professional, Daniel Coffey, will offered two workshops at his studio in the River Arts District in Asheville. 

The two workshops were:

  • Basic information and styling workshopLimited to 7 participants. A boxwood tree was provided as part of the fee.

  • Advanced workshop - Limited to 5 participants who brought their own trees to work on with evaluation and guidance from Danny.

November 12: Woodfin Community Center

Annual BRBS pot luck dinner and auction. A good time had by All!

December 2 & 3: Everyone was encouraged to go to the Winter Silhouette exhibit in Kannapolis, NC. Admission was free: 

No regular club meeting this month.

2024 Completed Meetings

January 14:  Woodfin Community Center

Bring a Tree

Presentations by club members:  

Brian McCrodden — Bonsai soils

  • Brian spoke of the (3) common soil mixes for our trees as well as other types, the importance of using an accurate Ph level in watering and an interesting advanced discussion on Air/Water ratios within the soil and how they change with differing soil mixture ratios. 

Greg Hinson — Arboriculture vs Bonsai

  • Greg led us through the differences in how we can significantly alter our Bonsai trees but cannot with ground trees or it could lead to failure. He pointed out proper ground tree pruning as well. A common misconception of thinking both types of tree cut wounds as “healing” are actually “closing”.

February 11:  Asheville Botanical Gardens       

  • Forest creation demonstration by bonsai professional Danny Coffey.

NOTE- different time format for this month:

  • 1:00-4:00 Danny’s demonstration;

  • Danny showed us two small clusters of Shimpaku trees in two grow pots that he matured over a couple of years allowing the trees’ roots to combine. This enables their transfer to a shallow pot, a flat stone or wood slab or even a tall lava type rock, which he demonstrated. Moss covering over the soil is crucial for thin stone, wood and lava bases to ensure moisture retention. Danny wire tied his vertical Lava rock to a shallow pot with an ingeniously enlarged rock base made of epoxied wire mesh. He tied the two clusters to the top and sides of the rock again, onto epoxied eyelet anchors. It looks like trees on a rocky mountaintop. A great demonstration by Danny.

February 17:  Field trip to Greg and Candy Hinson’s farm near Spartanburg, SC.     

  • (5) Lottery ticket winners got to spend the whole day harvesting a variety of young trees under the guidance of Greg. Lunch and beverages generously provided by the Hinson's


March 10:  NC Arboretum    

  • An informative presentation was given by NC Arboretum Bonsai Curator Arthur Joura

Our Bonsai as Fine Art exhibit was held at the Blue Spiral 1 gallery in Asheville. 


Bonsai were on display at Blue Spiral 1 from June 2 through June 11, 2023, with additional bonsai on display, an auction of bonsai and bonsai pots, and a demonstration by Bjorn Bjorholm at the NC Arboretum on June10 and 11.


You can now order copies of the Commemorative Album.

Use the links on our new web page: "Bonsai as Fine Art.

Blue Spiral 1 logo.jpg
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Interesting Topics on 

 Our Tips, Advice, & More page


  • BRBS Monthly Bonsai Tips

Download a short, clear statement of what each of us should be doing for our bonsai each month, correct for our geography, written by a small committee of our most experienced members--Felix Laughlin, Peggy Snow, and Troy Schmidt. 

Also, thanks to Bjorn Bjorholm, for sharing with us his excellent summary on "Pesticides and Insecticides."


  • Download a PPT presentation by Daniel Coffey on the new  "Shag Rug" method of creating a bonsai forest on a rock.

  • A new source--VSANA--devoted to suiseki (viewing stones).


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