“I have about 150 bonsais growing in my back yard.” – Cindie Duke Bonomi



  • Bob Grealish will be hosting a bonsai sale at his home on October 10 starting at 10:00 AM. More details to come!
  • October Monthly Meeting – Wednesday, October 21    6:30 PM    We welcome special guest Young Choe, one of the foremost Kusamono artists in the country. Ms. Choe will present a demonstration on this bonsai-related Japanese art form. See Events page for more details.
  • PBS members can come to Bob Grealish’s  Thursday Evening Workshops through the summer starting at 6 PM. Bring your trees for expert advice in a casual atmosphere at no charge.  The October meet will be announced.
  • Phipps Conservatory Bonsai Class with Dan Yobp
    Bonsai: Build and Plant Your Own Ceramic Bonsai Pot | Daniel Yobp
    Tuesday, Oct. 13, 20 and 27 | First class: 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. | Second and third class: 7 – 9 p.m.
    $70 Phipps members | $90 nonmembers | Material fee: $50
    Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park
    Level: Beginner to advanced
    Phipps and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts are collaborating to offer this one-of-a-kind experience at which participants will learn about the history of bonsai and their containers, and then build, fire and glaze their own ceramic pots. In the final week, students will plant their pots with juniper bonsai and learn how to care for and train them. Contact Phipps Conservatory for more details. 412-622-6914
  • The Planting Field  Members are asked to come help at the planting field at Bob Grealish’s House. We have purchased starter material and planted it in the ground with the goal of having great material in the future and along the way learning how to train bonsai from an early stage. Work days will be announced and your volunteer time will be recorded,  so the more time you put in, the better your selection will be when we use the trees.
  • Minutes from the September meeting are listed at the bottom of this page.
  • PBS Highlight link:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CREGA3jxGJE     Graham Potter wood carving technique
  • Bonsai Supplies: Remember to call Bob Dietz from Bonsai in the Burgh @ 724-348-4771  for all of your bonsai supplies, and he can bring them to a meeting for you or you can visit him in South Park.

Contact PBS President Dave Metzgar  @ 412-956-2482 – bannerdave@aol.com & Facebook     Like Pittsburgh Bonsai Society on Facebook

Look for seasonal tree care tips in the TREE CALENDAR link above! New members can read Bob Grealish’s online book, “Beginning Bonsai”,  found under the Resources link.

New to Bonsai? Looking for a source of information and inspiration in Pittsburgh? You’ve found it with the Pittsburgh Bonsai Society. Visitors are welcome to sit in on a monthly member meeting before joining. During the meetings, members participate in tree workshops and learn from expert speakers during demonstrations. Other seasonal events include the annual spring show, the tree auction, and the summer picnic . Come to the meeting and find expert information on all aspects of bonsai, plus sources for trees and supplies. We even promise to have members’ trees at every meeting just to appreciate. Bring in your own tree for some care or styling advice.

The membership fee is $30 for individuals and $40 for families for the period of March through December. As a member, you will receive  our monthly newsletter which is full of helpful information and current events, and you can participate in any club events. The newsletter can be mailed or emailed to you. Most meetings are on the third Wednesday of the month (check the current schedule in the link above for alternate days), starting with February. We meet from 7:00 to 9:00 PM (or 9:30) at the  Phipps Garden Center, 1059 Shady Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15232 ( not Phipps Conservatory in Schenley Park). You can contact club president Dave Metzgar at 412-956-2482 or at bannerdave@aol.com for more information.

Click on each event to the right for more details. ————>


Meeting Minutes: September 16, 2015

(Approximate attendance: 43 participants) 

General Information for Members
-Important dates to remember:

Oct. 10 –Bob Grealish will be hosting a sale at his home in West Deer/ Tarentum.  The sale will run from 10:00am to 6:00pm.  Prices will run from $20.00 to $20,000.00.  E-mail Dave Metzgar if you’d like Bob’s address.

Oct. 17 –Work will be done at the PBS planting field (on Bob’s land).  Members will stake and style some trees as appropriate.  Work will begin at 9:00am.  E-mail Dave Metzgar if you’d like Bob’s address.

Oct. 21 –Guest speaker Young Choe will teach us about the art of Kusamono.  For more information about Kusamono, which includes accents plants and as well as standalone arrangements of plants and grasses, please visit her website, http://www.kusamonochoe.com/ .

Although her visit will not include a workshop, we may be able to organize a hand-on Kusamono workshop with her at a later date.

Also during our October meeting, we will have nominations for the following positions: President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, and Treasurer.  Elections will be held in November.

Oct. 13-20-27 –Member Dan Yobp will be offering a class through a partnership with Phipps and the Pgh Center for the Arts.  For more information please visit, http://center.pfpca.org/education/classes/bonsai-build-and-plant-your-own-ceramic-bonsai-pot .


Michael Levanik, a native Pittsburgher and current FL bonsai artist, would like to return to his hometown to speak to the society about his experiences.  Stay tuned for more information.

Bob Grealish is selling brass watering wands for approximately $80.00 each.  For more info please contact Bob.

From the president:

New members who sign-up and pay their fees at the Sept. meeting or later will have their fees credited to next year’s dues.  Membership lasts from February to December.

Meeting Program

Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) literati workshop, part II.

-At this time of year, most of the pines have lots of small branches that are flexible enough to bend easily.

-For some trees, it might be possible to bend the trunk.  Other trees can be planted at an angle.

-Literati trees are usually planted in shallow pots that are frequently irregular or round.  Oval and drum pots are also used for potting literati trees.

-Scots pines back-bud easily.

-This style of tree is known for breaking the rules.  They frequently have branches that cross each other, etc.

-When styling a literati, or any bonsai, keep in mind that each part of a tree should be able to look like the standalone tree.  For example, if styling a tree to look like it grew and matured on the side of a snowcapped peak, all of the branches should reflect this.  Therefore, if the branches on the right of a tree are styled as if they were weighed down by snow accumulation, the branches on the left and on the apex of that tree should reflect the same environment.

-Oriental art is traditionally more about line.  Moreover, Western art is traditionally more about mass.  Keep that in mind when designing your literati.

-The best time to hard prune and style most pines is in February.

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