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.

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PSBA General Meeting - Mon. Sep 23 7-10 pm at CUH - Bill Valavanis Guest Artist

We are proud to announce Bill Valavanis as our guest artist for the September 23rd general meeting! Valavanis is one of the most recognized names in the Western bonsai world and our highest-profile guest in recent years. Bill has been practicing bonsai for almost sixty years and in that time has had a tremendous impact on the development of bonsai in America and around the world.

Bill began bonsai at age 11, and eight years later was studying in Japan with master Kyuzo Murata of the famous Kyuka-en garden in Omiya and with Toshio Kawamoto at the Nippon Bonsai-Saikei Institute in Tokyo. After graduating from the State University of New York Agricultural and Technical College, he returned to Japan to study with Kakutaro Komuro and Toshio Kawamoto. In 1976, he earned a degree in Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture from Cornell University, on the heels of several months’ study at Yuji Yoshimura’s School of Bonsai.

Around this time, Bill began teaching bonsai classes and wrote the first two volumes of theEncyclopedia of Classical Bonsai Art. He then published the first volumes of International Bonsaimagazine in spring 1979. It was the world’s first (and now longest-running) English-language bonsai periodical. He has since authored several more books, countless articles and made TV appearances around the world. In addition to a staggering number of demos & workshops nationally and internationally, Bill has made over 50 trips to Japan, including leading dozens of his world-famous group tours.

In June 2008, he organized the first biennial U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition. Hailed as a great success, there’ve been five more national shows between 2010 and 2018. In June 2017, Bill held the first U.S. National Shohin Bonsai Exhibition, the successor to which was held in June this year. In October 2017, he became the third inductee into the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum’s Bonsai Hall of Fame. A year later, he achieved another milestone by becoming the first American to evaluate a Japanese bonsai show at the Nippon Bonsai Taikan exhibition.

One could go on and on about Bill’s accomplishments and importance in the bonsai community, but suffice it to say it’s an honor for the PSBA to host him. We look forward to seeing you at 7pm on Monday September 23rd at the Center for Urban Horticulture. If you are interested in participating in a workshop with Bill, please contact workshop chair Lynn Paietta asap.

To learn more about Bill and see some of his work and travels, please visit or