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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

2023 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.

2023 Upcoming Meetings

 November 12: Woodfin Community Center

Annual BRBS  pot luck dinner and auction. Also, we will elect club officers for the next two years.

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

No regular club meeting this month.

2024 Upcoming Meetings

January 14:  Venue tbd.     

Presentations by club members:  

Brian McCrodden — bonsai soils                                      Greg Hinson — topic tbd

February 11:  Venue tbd.      

Forest creation demonstration by bonsai professional Danny Coffey


March 10:  NC Arboretum    

Presentation by NC Arboretum Bonsai Curator Arthur Joura


April 14:  Woodfin Community Center                

Bring a tree to share/work on

May 5:   Woodfin Community Center                

Create a kusamono workshop led by club member Peggy Snow

May 11/12:  NC Arboretum    

Celebration of World Bonsai Day weekend; club display; club demos

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.

Additional Meeting Place!

 Woodfin Community Center

23 Community Road

Woodfin, NC 28804







Our membership has grown considerably in the last year.

We still have some events scheduled at the Asheville Botanical Gardens, but this location is no longer big enough for workshops. We will probably also continue to meet sometimes at the Paviliion at the Etowah Golf Club.


(Directions to these locations is on the About Us page.)

The Woodfin Community Center is one exit further north from Rte. 26 than the exit to the Asheville Botanical Gardens.

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Avl Bot Gardens to Woodfin.jpg

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 wth additional bonsai on display, an auction of bonsai and bonsai pots, and a demon-stration 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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Download official flyer for "Bonsai as Fine Art'  here:

Could You Contribute?

The Bonsai as Fine Art exhibition will be open to the public without charge, but the Blue Ridge Bonsai Society will incur considerable expenses connected with these events and for 

producing the Commemorative Album. so we are seeking tax-deductible donations to help offset those costs.


The BRBS is a section 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, so your contribution will be tax-deductible. By contributing, you will become part of the legacy of these events, and receive grateful recognition in the Commemorative Album.


Sponsorship levels:

 Sponsors: $500 up

 Patrons: $250 up

 Benefactors: $100 up

 Donors: Any amount to help support


You may make your tax-deductible donation by mailing a check to:

Rebecca Ayers

BRBS Treasurer

15 Murrough Drive

Biltmore Lake, NC 28715

Oct. 8 Meeting - Asheville Botanical Garden Visitors' Center






BRBS Club Bonsai Show 

This show included only BRBS members' trees. The categories were: Beginner/Intermediate Trees  and Advanced/Mature Trees.


  • Our display was open to visitors to the Botanical Garden

  • Each club member was encouraged to score the trees in each group using the guidance included in this presentation from Tyler Sherrod: 

  • Tyler Sherrod, veteran of international bonsai exhibitions, critiqued all the trees and gave invaluable feedback.

  • Members'scores were correlated during the event and discussed.

The purpose of our club show, besides being fun, was to give us more practice in judging our own trees and deciding on the next steps in their development.

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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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