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.
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: Speaker being arranged
October 9: Speaker being arranged.
September 11: Practice Bonsai Show: Members only. All members judge all members' trees to practice what we learned from Tyler Sherrod in July.
August 14: Speaker being arranged. Also, possible silent auction for members only.
July 10: Tyler Sherrod will discuss "How to Judge a Bonsai Show."
Tyler has led this discussion for several bonsai clubs already, and they all say it was fun and very helpful in learning to judge the state of development of your own trees.
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.
Remaining meetings: We are arranging presentations by Daniel Coffey and Jennifer Price. We will also have a pot-luck dinner and auction. Arrangements are not yet final.
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.
World Bonsai Day, 2022
The Blue Ridge Bonsai Society has been invited to host an event inside the Bonsai Pavilion at the NC Aboretum on May 14 and 15 in celebration of World Bonsai Day.
We will have club members working on trees and answering questions from visitors to the Pavilion.
We will also have displays of deciduous and coniferous bonsai at different stages of development.
See the Special Notice and Photo Gallery pages for pictures and comments
May and June BRBS Field Trips
These field trips are all entirely voluntary. One goal is to get to know local nurseries. The other is to find a new tree to work on at the June meeting.
Feel free to visit as many or few nurseries you care to. You can use the links below to go to their websites and look at current available plant lists for Appledoorns and Mountain Meadows. Also, see the Special Notice page for pictures from our visit to Mountain Meadows in October, 2020.
Saturday, May 7th: Both these locations are immediately off Rte. 26 north of Asheville.
Reems Creek (12:00 - 1:00)
76 Monticello Road, Weaverville, NC 28787
Take exit 18 from Rte. 26.
Mountain Meadows (2:00 - 4:00) Specializes in dwarf conifers
40 Elkins Branch Road, Weaverville, NC 28787
Take exit 113 from Rte. 26.
Saturday, May 28th:
Raymond's Garden Center (12:00 - 1:00)
1320 Kanuga Road, Hendersonville, NC 28787
New Leaf Garden Market (2:00 - 4:00)
176 Lyda Loop Road, Pisgah Forest 28768
10 minutes west of the Etowah Golf Club on Rte. 64. Turn right at the second Lyda Loop Sign.
Saturday, June 4th:
Appeldoorn's Nursery (1:00 - 4:00)
1251 Jonestown Road, Bostic, NC 28018
1 to 1.5 hours drive
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!