The Bonsai Society of Portland has been an active group in the Portland area since 1966. It was founded to promote the art of bonsai through education, exhibits and social activities. The Society welcomes everyone interested in this unique and beautiful art form to share in the bonsai experience and develop both basic and advanced skills. Exhibits and related art forms are used to share bonsai with the public. The trees, stands, pots, stones, accents and arrangements in the exhibits are the result of many years of training and dedication by members of the Society. We meet at the at the Milwaukie Center, 5440 SE Kellogg Creek Drive, Milwaukie OR (map below; click the location marker to open in Google Maps and obtain directions if needed). Meeting dates and times are posted on the Calendar on menu above. Our mailing address is The Bonsai Society of Portland, Inc., PO Box 21271, Keizer, OR 97307.
Meetings The Society meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month, except during the summer when group outings are arranged. Visitors are always welcome. Activities begin at 6:00PM, meetings begin at 7:00PM. Programs are informative, with lectures and demonstrations by experienced members or guest artists who offer valuable insights on bonsai. The techniques of bud pinching, re-potting, root pruning, branch wiring, trimming, fertilizing and other methods used to style and maintain bonsai are discussed.
Activities Traditional activities include a summer picnic and occasional field trips. Each December we host a holiday party, where members gather to buy and sell trees in a social setting. Other activities include the sister arts of Suiseki (viewing stones) and Shohin (small bonsai). National and regional conventions are on the vacation plans of many members. The Society occasionally hosts these events, next time in 2018. See 2018 Northwest Bonsai Rendezvous.
Membership Dues As with all organizations, dues are necessary to partially defray expenses. Annual dues are $30 for individuals and $40 for a family membership (any number, same household). You can join on-line or download and print the application form and bring to a monthly meeting. See Join/Renew/Donate on the menu above.
Exhibits The Society sponsors one or two exhibits annually which are open to the public. The shows often include demonstrations as well as a marketplace providing a fantastic opportunity to purchase high quality plants, bonsai containers and the special tools helpful in developing fine bonsai.
Instruction and Mentorship The Society offers three opportunities for instruction each month. Our 101 classes are for members with little or no experience. Through lecture and hands-on, we teach the basics of bonsai, including wiring, styling, repotting, fertilizing, and the basics of tree care. 101 is a series of 7 monthly lessons, each building on the prior classes. All tools and materials are made available. The 101 class has recently been split into two identical classes to accommodate the volume of requests. Mentorship 102 is a less formal environment where members may drop in to learn more advanced techniques and get individual help on specific projects. (Mentorship 103 is currently on hold due to the high demand for Mentorship 101, but may return in the future.) In addition, several members provide individual lessons. A list of Local Bonsai Resources may be found under the Resources menu.
Lending Library The Society maintains a comprehensive library of published material and videos on bonsai and related topics. The library is open one hour before meetings for your convenience. Continually updated with newly published books and periodicals, the library provides a valuable source of information to increase the knowledge and skill of both the novice and the expert alike. Checkout the library at the monthly meetings.
Newsletter Members receive a monthly newsletter via email (hard copies are mailed to members without email). The newsletter provides information on upcoming events, bonsai tips and other Society business. A copy of the current newsletter may be found under the Resources menu.
Organizations & Magazines Bonsai, although still firmly rooted in Japan, is practiced by thousands of individuals throughout the world. Their creations reflect the regions, nationalities, philosophies and plants of people worldwide. Other organizations that provide more insight into the international aspects of bonsai are provided for your information. Each publishes a magazine that is attractive and informative. Subscription and contact information may be found under Other Bonsai Organizations under the Resources menu.