The Bonsai Society of Portland, Oregon, promotes the art of bonsai through education. The Society meets monthly, presents guest speakers, shares bonsai knowledge, holds public exhibits, maintains a library of books, videos, maintains a mentorship program and holds social events.

Join the Bonsai Society of Portland and participate in an educational and pleasurable learning environment dedicated to the art of bonsai.


November 25 Presentation by Larry Jackel

Larry Jackel, curator of the Denver Botanic Gardens and author of "Ponderosa Pines as Bonsai," will deliver a presentation discussing the natural form of bonsai.

Comparing images taken while collecting in Colorado and Wyoming, Larry will highlight and explore "The Natural Form" and how the tree teaches us about bonsai design. Larry's best teacher of bonsai has been the wild tree in its natural environment. Larry will also offer a design analysis for trees brought in by members.  

The meeting starts at 7pm, Tuesday, November 25th at The Milwaukie Center. Come a little early to network. As always, guests are welcome to attend. See directions.


October 18th Exhibit, Demonstration and Marketplace 

The public is invited to an educational event to inspire interest and appreciation in the art and culture of bonsai.

For most Westerners, the art of the bonsai tree is a mystery. For members of the Bonsai Society of Portland, bonsai is a living art worth sharing. On October 18th, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., we will present an exhibit, demonstration, and marketplace at the Milwaukie Center educate people about the aesthetics and techniques of this ancient but evolving art form.

Members will offer an extensive exhibit of bonsai representing a wide range of plant varieties and styles. Unlike our annual bonsai show hosted at the Japanese Garden in the spring, this show will focus more on creativity than traditional display. It will be a fun event for anyone interested in downsized horticulture and design.

Beginners are encouraged to attend. Live demonstrations will be ongoing throughout the day. Visitors can learn the basics of bonsai or more advanced techniques. Bonsai Society members will be available to answer questions, talk about their trees, share opinions and recommendations.

Marketplace items will include mature bonsai, early stage trees and everything in between. Prices will reflect tree quality from inexpensive starters to show-quality trees. Pots, tools, books and related items will also be available. Several trees will be auctioned at noon and 4pm. Door prizes will also be awarded.

Bonsai attracts an interesting mix of individuals. The group’s members come from a radius of 80+ miles to share knowledge and opinions on design, horticulture, techniques and more. Membership includes students to physicists, potters to arborists, and writers to chefs. Their backgrounds are as varied as the bonsai they create. Portland’s favorable climate also supports diversity in tree types.

Since bonsai often outlive their owners, the group’s educational mission is essential. President, Chas Martin, expresses the group’s educational role in generational terms. “We continuously attract and educate newcomers so the trees we care for today can be passed on to capable future owners.”

Vice President Al Polito says “Bonsai is a way to express our love for trees. It brings the energy of nature and the seasons into our lives. It allows us to engage in a daily dialog with the trees themselves.”

The Bonsai Society of Portland is a 501-c-3 nonprofit. The group includes a wide spectrum of participants from true beginners to national award winners.

The October event is open to the public: $2 per adult or $5 per family. All ages will find activities to learn the basics of design and care. A special children’s area will provide hands-on experience.

The Milwaukie Center is located at 5440 SE Kellogg Creek Drive in Milwaukie with ample free parking.

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Bonsai Collection for Sale/Auction September 23rd

We have recently received a large number of trees through the generous donation. They are currently being cared for by several of members. At our Septemberr 23rd meeting, a number of these will be offered for sale or auction.

The value of these trees varies from starter to pre-bonsai. Members should come prepared to purchase or bid. Non members should consider membership to be able to participate in this opportunity.

In addition, we'll have an excellent presentation by Ted Matson. It should be a very insightful meeting.


September 23rd Meeting: Ted Matson Critique and Talk

We're happy to welcome Ted Matson for a return visit. This meeting will be similar to the very successful format from a few months ago. Ted will talk briefly about seasonal topics, then offer a critique of bonsai from our members. His observations and suggestions are always refreshing, insightful and instructonal.

Over the past 40 years, Ted has perfected his eye and his techniques. He delivers workshops and demonstrations across the nation. His bonsai have won awards and recognition internationally. At the PNBCA 2012 Convention, Ted described Portland as "the epicenter of bonsai in the United States" based on the number and quality of artists, potters and collectors in the area.

The critique is open to all members. Ted will review as many trees as possible within the 2-hour meeting format. Members may bring 2 trees. Shohin may also be included in the critique.

The meeting starts at 7pm, Tuesday, September 23. Come a little early to network. As always, guests are welcome to attend. See directions.



June 24th Meeting: Pests and other issues

Our own Lyle Feilmeir, a professional arborist and amateur bonsaist, will be our June presenter. We all have a lot to learn about the pests and how to protect our our bonsai. We're very lucky to have someone as knowledgeable in our ranks as Lyle.
In addition, our June meeting will also include the return of the Inspiration Table, an area in our meeting room where members can bring finished or semi-finished bonsai for feedback. Any member with a tree that is ready for opinions, please contact Al Polito via email with the subject
line "Tree to display."

Meeting starts at 7pm, Tuesday, June 24. Come a little early to network. Guests welcome. See directions.