top of page
Short List Description.jpg

Click on this document icon to download it. All the links in the documents are live (Cntrl + left-click).

Please Note: As of August 18, 2018, our Library is without a home.

                              Check this space for developments. 

The Blue Ridge Bonsai Society Library

One of the benefits of being a BR Bonsai Society member is access to our library.  Our library collection has been growing for over 20 years, thanks mostly to generous club members have donated  bonsai books, magazines and miscellaneous materials. All of these are available for club members to borrow. 


Descriptions of some of our books are below. To download complete lists of our holdings, click the following links: 

Click the button with the white background for the list of all issues of the journal Bonsai Today in our library.
Click the button with the blue background for the list of books and issues of other journals in our library.
(Updated in Nov., 2017)


If you see anything you would like to look at or borrow, click the following link to send a message to our Librarian. If what you would like to borrow is available, he will bring it to our next meeting.


Successful Bonsai Growing is a brief introduction giving information on raising bonsai from seed, cuttings, and nursery stock, supplemented with numerous photographs and drawings. Sections on pruning, wiring, pest control, and general care are written for new hobbyists. Specific advice on handling the more common species is also included. Data section is a very brief species-to-species guide. Some good line drawings.

Adams, Peter

Bonsai, Saikei and Bonkei: Japanese Dwarf Trees and Tray Landscapes

An early book with 14 chapters on the how-to of bonsai. Some are only a few pages long. Only 4 pages of the book are devoted to Saikei (miniature landscapes containing trees) and Bonkei ((miniature landscapes not containing trees). Procedure are well illustrated for the time. Easy reading basic text. Very little on Saikei and Bonkei considering the title of the book.

Behme, Robert Lee

Growing & Propagating Showy Native Woody Plants

Bir identifies some of the showiest woody plants native to the eastern United States and tells how to propagate and care for them. He describes more than ninety species of native plants, most illustrated with a color photograph, and includes several useful appendixes listing nurseries that stock these hard-to-find species.

Bir, Richard E.

Bonsai: Your Guide to Creating Stands & Benches

A how-to book for creating bonsai display. A unique bonsai book that provides a detailed look at all aspects of displaying bonsai outdoors: choosing the right spot, designing your bonsai display area, and selecting the right materials for construction. Includes construction plans and techniques for making you own attractive and inexpensive bonsai stands and benches.

Buehler, George

Bonsai from Native Trees & Shrubs

A guide which aims to make the art of bonsai uncomplicated and fun, with a step-by-step guide to cultivation and pruning, a month-by-month care plan and explanatory line drawings, all well-suited to beginners. The author answers specific questions on over 30 individual species, demonstrating that beautiful and inexpensive miniatures may be grown from the seeds and saplings of deciduous trees, conifers and shrubs readily found in gardens.

Busch, Werner M.

Bonsai, The Art of Growing and Keeping Miniature Trees

Bonsai outlines the constant and proper care that will allow the bonsai to blend with its container in a natural and aesthetically pleasing manner. Everything from watering to wiring, placement to pruning, and specialist advice on individual species such as maples and pines is fully explained.

Chan, Peter

Bonsai For Beginners

Illustrated with the author's own photographs of internationally popular varieties, there are also case studies that take you through important techniques one by one. "...a thoroughly illustrated reference that will captivate and educate newcomers to the art...a wealth of personal insights accompanied by illustrations that are refreshing in their clarity and in the depth of the accompanying explanations."--Quoted from Bonsai Online.

Coussins, Craig

Basic Bonsai Design

Due to popular demand, The American Bonsai Society has reprinted this popular book. It includes 175 illustrative drawings, and 30 photographs. This text book on the styling of bonsai is for all students from beginner to advanced. Explaining the art of bonsai is tricky, because artistic concepts are difficult to convey. This book will help you discover "how to" by understanding "why."

De Groot, David

Bonsai and The Japanese Garden

Applying the ancient Bonsai art and Japanese landscaping to America's gardens. A short, basic how-to book on bonsai and Japanese gardens. 

Domoto,Kaneji, and Kay, George

Simon & Shuster’s Guide To Bonsai

This informative introduction gives such useful details as plant physiology, the history and philosophy of bonsai, choice of plants, and special tools and products to use in bonsai. The individual entries that follow describe over 125 species to cultivate and offer visual symbols that indicate whether full sun or shade, plentiful or little watering, and indoor or outdoor settings are best for a particular species.

Jahn, Victoria

Keshiki Bonsai: The Easy, Modern Way to Create Miniature Landscapes

Traditional bonsai can be complicated, time consuming, and expensive. Keshiki bonsai is different. Gone are the confusing rules. There’s no need to wait for years until your bonsai is “ready,” or to worry that you might kill some ancient, precious plant. Keshiki bonsai is about taking inspiration from a natural scene and creating a living piece of art using easily available plants and small containers. Anyone can do it! Just follow the clear step-by-step instructions and you’ll have an exquisite bonsai that will enliven any style of room.

Kobayashi, Kenji

Bonsai in Australia

A 50 page book for the beginner to intermediate student. Beautiful photos and sketches. Covers extensive horticultural and styling aspects. Some of the topics are: selecting a tree, tools, wiring, repotting, styling, maintenance, pruning and trimming. Although this book deals mostly with imported plants rather than natives, it will give some information on the kind of growing conditions experienced in this country.


Dorothy and Vita

Bonsai in Your Home: An Indoor Growers Guide

One of the world's great pioneers of bonsai horticulture condenses his vast knowledge into simple but creative ideas for growing display-quality bonsai right in your home. All you need to know is here: location, form and shaping, watering and feeding, care and maintenance, disease prevention and cure. Answers to the most-often-asked questions take the guesswork out of every stage.

Lesniewicz, Paul

Growing & Displaying Bonsai

This 124 page, odd-sized book places itself firmly in the "advanced beginner category." It covers all the beginning bonsai topics. (History, what bonsai is, tools, basic styles, procedures, etc.), then goes into more depth on each, and includes several projects the new grower of bonsai might attempt. These include, broom style (Zelkova), informal upright (maple), group planting (beech), forests, rafts, shohin size, etc. The final chapters cover maintenance, display, winter protection, pests and diseases, and the care of bonsai over the (British!!!) year.

Lewis, Colin & Sutherland, Neil

Bonsai Basics

This simple guide for first-time bonsai growers, with easy instructions and more than 200 full-color photos and drawings, covers selecting a hardy specimen; the essentials of pruning, wiring, and aging; and keeping your bonsai healthy. Learn the many styles of bonsai shaping, important tree forms, forest groupings, and more.

Pesky, Christian & Samson, Remy

The Creative Art of Bonsai

Superb full-color, encyclopedic gallery of 60 imaginative species that's also an excellent propagation instruction book. Includes unique silhouettes of suggested Chinese and Japanese styles, indoor and outdoor examples, new landscape ideas, and guidance on bonsai care.

Samson, Isabelle &


 Tree Pruning: A Worldwide Photo Guide

discusses pruning for both attractiveness and health. The first and only book that shows you from the inside how branches come on a tree. Once you know this, proper pruning becomes easy. A conversational style, beautiful pictures and diagrams, plus step-by-step illustrations, makes it easy to understand.

Shigo, Alex L.

The Complete Book of Bonsai: A Practical Guide to Its Art and Cultivation

American readers MUST remember that cultural information refers to the United Kingdom, but extrapolation is easy. Techniques and procedures are explained in some detail by excellent photographic sequences. The dual species guide is detailed, and useful, especially the 'Dictionary' of trees and shrubs at the end, which provides thumbnail summaries of cultural needs of the various trees and shrubs with bonsai potential. This book has become one of the standards for beginners to the art of bonsai. 

Tomlinson, Harry

Bonsai: Life Histories

focuses on about 40 case histories of individual trees complete with meticulously recorded photographs of how each tree developed usually from very doubtful beginnings to their present-day glory. The author Martin Treasure is superbly talented technically but also has a unique skill in bringing out the personality of the plants so that even non-enthusiasts cannot help but be drawn into the case histories. In the book the case histories are supported by chapters on basic training techniques, advice on sourcing viable plant material and maintenance tips so that everyone can have a go at creating trees similar to those in the book.

Treasure, Martin

Classical Bonsai Art; A Half Century of Bonsai Study

For 50 years, graduate horticulturist and international bonsai educator, William N. Valavanis, has studied and perfected his bonsai techniques which are clearly explained in this book. He gives guidelines for creating deciduous, narrow leaf evergreen and flowering & fruiting bonsai. Shohin bonsai are depicted and explained in detail. Using his knowledge and techniques he demonstrates through photos, the creation of 100 classic bonsai. 256 Pages of Growing & Training Tips included.

Valavanis, William N

Bonsai Today Masters' Series: Pines, Growing & Styling Japanese Black & White Pines

The definitive how-to & care book on Black and White Pine Bonsai trees with detailed instructions by some of the world's greatest Bonsai Masters. This thorough and complete book will help you in your quest to design, style and maintain beautiful pine bonsai. Includes: needle reduction, energy balancing, styles and styling, nebari development, branch development, trunk taper, sacrifice branches, bending large branches, rock planting, transplanting, choosing the right pot, plant positioning, growing from seed, care and maintenance, Superfeeding, wintercare and much much more.


bottom of page