On this page you’ll find a wide variety of resources for learning more about bonsai. First of course we’ll point you to resources we’ve created. These are the videos the Pittsburgh Bonsai Society has recorded of our educational content, presented at our meetings in person or at virtual meetings. PBS member Bob Grealish has written a beginner’s guide to bonsai.
- Pittsburgh Bonsai Society Video Meetings
- Beginning With Bonsai a book by Bob Grealish
- Don’t forget our comprehensive library of monthly newsletters edited by Cindie Bonomi with a wealth of bonsai information spanning decades.
Local and National Bonsai Vendors
There are a few local bonsai vendors in and around Pittsburgh.
- Bonsai In the Burgh: Member and former society president Bob Dietz runs Bonsai in the Burgh. Call 724-348-4771 for all of your bonsai supplies, and he can bring them to a meeting or you can visit him in South Park.
- Bebop Bonsai: Member and current society Vice President Ian Evans runs Bebop Bonsai, which is a provider of bonsai, bonsai pots, bonsai fertilizer, and specialty professional bonsai services including tree boarding, bonsai collection management, potting, pruning, and styling. Visit www.bebopbonsai.com or call 412-812-8506 to schedule an appointment.
There are many national and online bonsai vendors who can ship trees and supplies to you. We list a few here that we have used, but this list is a small selection of what is available.
- Superfly Bonsai, tools, supplies and trees. (Harrisburg, PA)
- Nature’s Way Nursery. Pottery, tools, classes.They have a large collection of bonsai, including specimen trees, but their website doesn’t show them. (Harrisburg, PA)
- Meehan’s Miniatures, trees, tools, and supplies. (Rohrersville, MD)
- Bonsai Jack, primarily a provider of bonsai soil. (Fort Myers, FL)
- Stone Lantern, tools and supplies. (Online only)
- Wigert’s Bonsai, trees, tools, and supplies. (North Ft. Myers, FL)
- Brussel’s Bonsai, trees, tools, and supplies. (Olive Branch, MS)
Bonsai Show Forms
These forms are used for our show and auction.
These forms are for the 2023 National Bonsai Show.
- 2023 EXHIBITOR INVITATION
- 2023 TICKET ORDER FORM, or order tickets online.
- 2023 EXHIBITION POSTCARD
- 2023 WEB FLYER
Bonsai on YouTube
There are untold YouTube videos about bonsai. Where do you start? Here is curated list of particularly useful videos we have found. Any of these creators are a great source for other videos about bonsai. Talk to other PBS members for their opinions on which ones might best fit you to get more in depth information about bonsai.
Ryan Neil is an American bonsai artist with a deep knowledge of the science and horticulture of bonsai and a focus on developing a dynamic American style of bonsai. Ryan’s bonsai studio is called Bonsai Mirai, and they offer an paid online learning platform called Mirai Live that gives you access to a very deep library of bonsai videos, with new seasonally relevant videos released every week. They also publish many videos for free on YouTube.
- Bonsai Beginner Series – Material Selection
- Bonsai Beginner Series – Finding the Front: Deciduous
- Bonsai Beginner Series – Cleaning Conifers
- Nursery Stock Holiday Bonsai Creation
- Bonsai Beginner Series – Repotting
- Bonsai Professional Reacts to Beginner
Bjorn Bjorholm is another American bonsai artist with a highly refined design sense and a focus on Japanese bonsai styling. His bonsai studio is called Eisei-en. Eisei-en’s online learning platform is called Bonsai-U and gives you access to a deep library of bonsai videos, with two new videos every month and two live Q&A sessions.
- 3 Great Plants for Broadleaf Bonsai | Bonsai-U
- Shohin Juniper Bonsai from Cuttings, Part 1 | Bonsai-U
- Shohin Juniper Bonsai from Cuttings, Part 2 | Bonsai-U
Peter Chan is a British bonsai artist with decades of experience and one of the largest bonsai nurseries in England. He has a large collection of YouTube videos on bonsai, with a particular emphasis on beginner friendly material.
- How to make a Bonsai tree
- Bonsai Made Easy – DIY Juniper Procumbens
- Creating Bonsai from Starter Tree Material
Bonsai Empire is a website that is a one-stop shop for information about bonsai. You can find information on techniques and styling as well as tree-specific care instructions. They also have online courses where you can dive into more details.
Eastern Leaf Bonsai
Eastern Leaf Bonsai is a bonsai nursery in California run by bonsai artist Jason Chan. Eastern Leaf has a large selection of trees available for purchase on their website. Jason publishes regular YouTube videos.
One satisfying way to grow your own bonsai is to start from a seedling. Without any real structure or shape, it can be hard to know what to do to effectively turn a seedling into a quality bonsai. Information on this subject isn’t easy to find, so we collected a few videos specifically on how to develop seedlings.
- How to Style and Develop Japanese Maple Seedlings
- How to grow seedlings for bonsai Trident maple – how to style and shape bonsai early development
- Turn Japanese Maple Seedlings into a Clump Style Bonsai, Part 1 | Bonsai-U
Mossing for a Show
Like developing seedlings, there aren’t many videos on how to apply moss to a tree for a bonsai show. Here’s one that might be helpful.
Here is a list of other websites that are great places to learn more about bonsai.
- Bonsai Empire a website with a comprehensive set of resources about bonsai.
- https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/overwint.htm A discussion of how to winterize your bonsai collection.
- http://www.absbonsai.org/ The American Bonsai Society, a non-profit corporation, that promotes knowledge of and interest in bonsai.
- http://www.artofbonsai.org/ The Art of Bonsai Project is an online journal and community for the examination and exploration of the bonsai art form.
- http://crataegus.com/ Bonsai artist Michael Hagedorn’s website.
- http://www.bonsaimirai.com/ Ryan Neil’s website.
- https://bjornbjorholm.com/ Bjorn Bjorholm’s website.
- http://nikart-gb.blogspot.com/ Nik Rozman’s blog.
- http://bonsaiunearthed.com/tag/owen-reich/ Owen Reich’s blog.
- http://peterteabonsai.wordpress.com/ Peter Tea’s blog.
- http://www.bonsai4me.com/ Harry Harrington’s website.
- http://bonsaitonight.com/ Jonas Dupuich’s website.
- http://valavanisbonsaiblog.com/ Bill Valavanis’s blog.
- https://stonelantern.com/blogs/bonsai-bark Wayne Schoech’s blog.
- http://walter-pall-bonsai.blogspot.com/ Walter Pall’s blog.
- http://walter-pall-travelogues.blogspot.com/ Walter Pall’s travelogue.
- http://www.bonsaifocus.com/ Excellent magazine with great photos, technique guides and interviews.
- http://www.internationalbonsai.com/page/1403493 A quarterly publication by Bill Valavanis reaching bonsai enthusiasts for over 30 years.
Bonsai Pot Making
A little known opportunity exists for you here in Pittsburgh to make you own bonsai pots at the Braddock Carnegie Library Pottery Class.
419 Library Street / Braddock PA / 15104 / (412)351-5356
Check their website for times and cost.