PSBA - Who We Are

Puget Sound Bonsai Association is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the education of its members and the general public in the art and culture of bonsai. Club members have bonsai experience that ranges from beginner to recognized experts in the art. PSBA holds regularly scheduled club meetings featuring demonstrations and educational programs by national and international bonsai artists. The club also stages public shows and participates in community events where members' trees are showcased. PSBA was formed in 1973.

PSBA Sponsors


April 24, 2017 - Michael Ryan Bell - Japanese Bonsai Pots

We are pleased to announce Michael Ryan Bell as our guest lecturer for the Monday April 24th general meeting! The meeting will take place from 7:00pm to approximately 9:30pm in the NHS Hall at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture. Ryan will be covering bonsai containers and their identification. In lieu of a demo tree, we will have many sundries for the raffle including a fine Japanese container generously donated by Ryan himself. 

Ryan Bell is America's foremost expert on Japanese bonsai pots and also recognized as one of the top experts outside Japan. Ryan has devoted himself to the study of bonsai ceramics since 2011 and now travels across the US to lecture at various clubs and conventions. Ryan's stated mission is to "encourage appreciation of the art of bonsai pottery through accurate information, images, and history." In keeping with this goal, Ryan has developed the premier English-language resource for information on bonsai containers in the form of his website, Ryan's blog is centered around profiles of various potters, all of which feature copious images. He has also compiled the world's largest database of Japanese and Chinese kiln and potter marks relevant to bonsai. This incredible resource is available for free on his website and is constantly expanding and improving. His database currently consists of nearly 800 different marks and ranges from kilns over 200 years old to contemporary potters. Ryan is also in the process of developing a similar database for Western ceramicists. By definition, the pot is an integral part of the art of bonsai. Those who wish to elevate their bonsai to the highest levels must learn to discern high-quality pots from their lesser counterparts. We hope you will join us for an evening of information on this topic!

[photo credit: Eric Schrader] 


PSBA Will Be At Sakura-Con 2017

It’s Sakura-Con Convention time again, April 13 through 16.  For those not familiar with Sakura-Con, it is an Anime Convention with lots of costumes. It is held at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. Attendees are always interested in the bonsai and want to learn how they are made, from start to show quality.  This is one of the most fun events PSBA participates in and an honor for PSBA to be invited into the convention every year.  Our display will be located in the Art Show area. PSBA members, we need show trees and docents. Contact us about submitting a tree.


March 27, 2017 - David De Groot - Bonsai Display and Show Prep Demonstration

We are pleased to announce David De Groot as our guest artist for the Monday March 27th general meeting! The meeting will take place from 7:00pm to approximately 9:30pm in the Douglas Classroom at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture. David will be covering bonsai display and show prep in anticipation of our annual spring show on Mother's Day weekend. If you have a show-worthy tree, you are welcome to bring it and (if time allows) Dave will discuss how it might be best prepared/displayed. 

David De Groot is an award-winning bonsai artist that served for 25 years as curator of the Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection (now Pacific Bonsai Museum) in Federal Way, WA. He has been studying, practicing and writing about bonsai since 1972. David studied bonsai in Japan with master Yasuo Mitsuya and has also studied satsuki (azaleas) with Tatemori Gondo and Hayata Nakayama. In addition, he has studied the art of bonsai display with Uhaku Sudo. Sudo is a second generation master of the Keido school of bonsai display. David's educational journal articles have been published throughout the U.S. and in eight other countries. He is the author of two highly regarded and often recommended books: Basic Bonsai Design and Principles of Bonsai Design. Both are published by and available from the American Bonsai Society. In addition to presenting programs across the U.S., David has taught in Brazil, Canada, China, England, South Africa and Venezuela. Don't miss this excellent opportunity to learn from one of the best!


February 26 & 27, 2017 - Workshop and General Meeting Demo with Owen Reich

We are pleased to announce Owen Reich as our guest artist for the Monday February 27th general meeting! The meeting will take place from 7:00 to 9:30pm in the Douglas Classroom at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture. Space is still available in Owen's workshop on Sunday Feb 26. If you're interested in experiencing hands-on instruction from a nationally recognized professional, please contact workshop chair Lynn Paietta  

Owen Reich is a full-time bonsai professional and owner of Bonsai Unearthed ( A native of Georgia and resident of Tennessee, Owen has spent a great deal of time in the Blue Ridge and Smoky mountains and has a passion for deciduous and broadleaf evergreen species. Since he was old enough to work, Owen has been involved in the green industry and has participated in internship programs at the famous Iseli nursery in Boring, OR and a retail garden center in Athens, GA. Owen holds a degree in ornamental horticulture from the University of Georgia and after graduation spent 5 years as the nursery manager of Samara Farms, one of the largest nurseries in the Southeastern US. Owen spent two years as a formal apprentice at Fujikawa Kouka-en in Ikeda City, Japan. Fujikawa Kouka-en is regarded as the top bonsai nursery in the Kansai region and specializes in the highest quality bonsai. His sensei, Keiichi Fujikawa, is a second generation bonsai artist and has exhibited at the Kokufu-ten and Taikan-ten shows for the past 21 years. Owen travels to Japan on a regular basis to continue his studies and to help others learn more about the world of Japanese bonsai. Owen is particularly fond of maples, fruiting tress and winter flowering bonsai and also has a love for rare and unusual species. Of his teaching style, Owen says the following: "The best way to describe my teaching style is laid back and practical. There are many gray areas when learning about bonsai, but navigating these murky waters is possible. The most important thing when working with bonsai is that this activity should be fun. While styling and caring for exhibition quality collections is something I’m capable of, some people just want to improve their skill sets without all the pomp and circumstance. An ideal end to any workshop I lead involves a room full of students worn out from information overload, not guessing what the next step is for their bonsai."


PSBA Member Honored by Japan

Long-time PSBA member Tom Brooke has been honored by the government of Japan for his work in promoting mutual understanding between Japan and the United States. Late last year he was awarded the Imperial Decoration: Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays and will be honored Feb. 9 at private reception at the residence of Japanese Consul General Masahiro Omura in Seattle. The award cited Brooke's significant contributions in introducing Japanese culture in Washington state.

Brooke was a founder of Aki Matsuri, a Japanese cultural festival held at Bellevue College for 20-some years and invited PSBA to participate in the event where the club staged bonsai displays and held workshops to teach the basics of bonsai.  The event became a prime recruiting tool for the club and many current PSBA members were first exposed to bonsai at Aki Matsuri.