“Little Trees are the Bee’s Knees” – David Byron Metzgar



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

  • ANNUAL SPRING SHOW  Saturday May 30, 10-5 PM & Sunday, May 31 10-4 PM  PHIPPS GARDEN CENTER IN SHADYSIDE.
    Free and open to the public. Come see a great display of bonsai and start your own collection with plenty to buy from our vendors. Demos at 11:00 daily and workshops at 1:00.  Find all of the info in the Upcoming Events link, “Annual Spring Show”
  • June Monthly Meeting, Wednesday the 17th. 7:00 PM  Welcome new members and topic TBA
  • “An Almost Famous Tree” story continues at the bottom of the Membership page.
  • Minutes from the April meeting are listed at the bottom of this page.
  • PBS Highlight link:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CREGA3jxGJE     Graham Potter air layering technique
  • Bob Grealish will announce the next bonsai workshop at his house. Bring your trees for expert advice.
  • 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 March. 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.


Pittsburgh Bonsai Society
Meeting Minutes: May 20th, 2015

(Attendance: 38 participants) 

General Information for Members 

Important dates to remember:

-May 23rd: Plant trees in the society bed at the Grealish homestead.

-May 30th-31st: PBS Spring Show

-June 17th: Next meeting

First post-show meeting.  Usually a catchall meeting to discuss any issues relevant to trees purchased at the show.  This meeting will also welcome people that learned about the Society during the Spring Show.

Please note:  If you receive the newsletter via e-mail AND USPS and you are ok only receiving it via e-mail please let us know, you will save the society valuable resources.

Meeting Program
Part I: Air layering (B. Dietz & D. Yobp)

Air layering = making two trees out of one (you can also use it as a means to salvage parts of a tree you want to keep)

-Air layering is best done on a more mature plant and not on a pencil thin plant

-Air layering requires the removal of bark and the cambium layer

-You will remove in length an amount equal to the branch width so that height and width of the cut is about the same

-Remove the outer bark including the cambium, stop once you hit hard wood

-Add root hormone to the exposed part of the plant

-Surround the exposed area in moist sphagnum moss and wrap all of that with plastic wrap

-Alternatively, you can remove the bark and cambium and then use a plastic pot cut lengthwise to tie around the cut and fill it with soil

-Both techniques will allow you to check for root development

-Once you have sufficient roots, separate the “new” tree from the mother branch/tree

-Refer to Graham Potter’s videos, available online, for more air layering techniques

Part II: Bonsai display

-The key to a pleasing display is to include complimentary elements

-The is a difference between complimentary elements and similar elements

-Accents will be smaller than main trees

-Be mindful of the optical weight of a display (you don’t want anything to look too heavy)

-Your end goal is to make the bonsai the focal point of your display

-Things to consider for a balanced display: color of pot, age, patina, style of stand (ornate or plain, etc.), accent pieces (smaller plants, suiseki, etc.)

-You can use a second element, a plant in bloom for example, to pinpoint a season for your display

-Be mindful of what direction a tree, plant, suiseki or other design element is “moving in/toward”

-Use your display to “trap the eye”

34th Annual Show

Website Login


Recent Images


Upcoming Events

Annual Spring Show

Sat, May 30 @ 9:00 AM

June Monthly Meeting

Wed, June 17 @ 7:00 PM

July Monthly Meeting

Wed, July 15 @ 7:00 PM

More Events »