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The Puget Sound Bonsai Association was formed in 1973 and 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. 


2016 PNBCA Bonsai Convention - Olympia, WA - October 13-16, 2016

Lecturer: Josef Leibfried – Bonsai Ceramics (Saturday October 15, 1:00-2:30 pm)

Josef Leibfried qualifies as a bonsai early bloomer. His bonsai career kicked off with the gift of a bonsai tree for his thirteenth birthday. When it came time to leave home for college Josef chose to sell his entire tree collection, knowing the pressure of classes and studying would detract from proper care.

But he wanted to stay involved in bonsai, and decided to commit himself to the study of bonsai ceramics. He found plenty of basic information available in the U.S. about selecting pots and matching them to trees - but also noticed a lack of general knowledge in the bonsai community about the history and qualities of bonsai pottery, especially high-end and antique pots.

Josef began making connections with individuals and nurseries in Japan, hunting down information and importing fine handmade pots. He confesses to being fascinated by every aspect of bonsai ceramics, from traditional wood-burning “dragon kilns” to the evolution of glazing styles. 

Josef is convinced that a greater respect for bonsai pots as works of art is integral to raising the standard of bonsai in America. He comments that with more American bonsai practitioners owning mature and highly-refined trees, interest in exemplary pots is surging - hopefully signaling the end of planting venerable and excellent trees in low quality, mass-produced pots.

Josef Leibfried’s lecture on “Bonsai Ceramics” Saturday October 15th is included in convention registration. Don’t delay, register today!

Convention hotel news: Renovation and Rebranding

The convention venue, selected almost two years ago, has been upgraded by the recent relaunch of the former Red Lion as Hotel RL, following an extensive renovation the past year. The lobby now features a coffee bar serving Victrola coffee, and comfortable new seating enhances the former reception area. Guest rooms and meeting rooms have all seen substantial upgrades. 

“It was a significant change and improvement,” commented a recent guest, adding that he’d be happy to have guests and family stay at the hotel. “The tone of the place is changing to feel more modern.”

Click here to read the full article in The Olympian newspaper.

The clock is starting to tick down on the deadline for early registration. Contact Hotel RL now to secure the low convention rate of $89.00 per night plus tax (king/queen).


Sunday July 17, 2016 - PSBA Summer Potluck and Bazaar - Center for Urban Horticulture, 1pm - 4pm


Sunday July 17th 2016 --- 1pm to 4pm

Center for Urban Horticulture 

Thanks to everyone who attended and brought wonderful dishes and desserts!  Attendees also went home with some great new pots and trees to fill out their collections.


2016 PNBCA Bonsai Convention - Olympia, WA - October 13-16, 2016

Convention Featured Artist: Matt Reel

Following an eight-year apprenticeship in Japan with Shinji Suzuki, Matt returned to the US in 2014 and is now located in Portland as a member of the Portland Bonsai Village. Matt is known for his broad expertise in a wide range of conifers and deciduous trees, as well as his knowledge of bonsai pots and bonsai display aesthetics. Matt is increasingly in demand as a presenter, due to his highly refined styling of trees, combined with his appealing manner. He also serves as a caretaker of bonsai for serious aficionados. Matt’s work on a large juniper was featured in the January 2015 issue of the Japanese bonsai magazine, Kinbon ( 

As of July 7, there’s still a chance to register for Matt’s convention workshop on Tsukomo Cypress. Register now for a chance to learn from Matt!

Convention Innovations 2016

Stone collecting trip

This year’s convention features for the first time a full-day stone hunting expedition to the nearby Skokomish River on Thursday October 13.  Organized by PSBA “stoners” and led by well-known daiza carver Patrick Metiva, this trip is your chance to play rock hound for a day. Explore amid beautiful Northwest fall scenery and search the riverbed for suiseki in the rough. Participation is limited to the first 20 registrants, so sign up now for this one-of-a-kind experience.

Bring-your-own Tree

No, not BYOB, bring your own tree! Following the success of these sessions at the Portland PNBCA convention, workshop attendees will have the chance to bring their own material. This is a great opportunity for advanced practitioners, who may not normally sign up for workshops. Even trees that are fully refined can benefit from another point of view.

As of July 7, we still have openings in bring-your-own-tree sessions with two of the convention’s featured artists. Daisaku Nomoto is a Koko-Fu prizewinner, people! Suthin Sukosolvisit “is really gifted with shohin; he can take a normal looking little juniper and turn it into a sweet little tree.”

Don’t miss out on the chance of personal input from leading artists. Register today!


June 26 & 27, 2016 - Bob Shimon Workshop and Demonstration

Bob Shimon was our guest artist for the June 27th general meeting and also be conducted a workshop on Sunday June 26th. Bob had several of his nationally recognized yamadori (collected from the wild) redwoods available for use in the workshop and attendees were all very pleased. Bob also styled one of his collected Redwoods at the June 27th General Meeting and a lucky PSBA Member won an outstanding tree in the raffle!

Click to read more ...


2016 PNBCA Bonsai Convention - Olympia, WA - October 13-16, 2016

Convention Featured Artist: Boon Manakitivipart

One small juniper started Boon on his journey and would end up having a huge impact on his life. Becoming fascinated with bonsai, Boon joined the Bonsai Society of San Francisco and studied with as many teachers as he could find in California, including bonsai master Akio Kondo, first apprentice of award-winning bonsai master Kihachiro Kamiya. Later, Boon would himself apprentice to master Kamiya, as well as working and studying at famous Japanese bonsai nursery Kihachi-En. In April 2000 Boon (the only non-Japanese contestant) won the Grand Prize in Japan’s Kindai Bonsai Styling Contest. He has since won numerous other national and international awards and recognition for his work. Boon is the founder and Sensei (primary teacher) of Bay Island Bonsai, and has had his own business, Bonsai Boon, since 1998.

Boon will offer several workshops and critiques at the convention. Register now!



Top Ten Reasons to Attend the PNBCA Convention in Olympia!

For the benefit of newcomers and undecideds, we polled some convention loyalists for the inside scoop on why you should absolutely earmark a few days and a few hundred bucks to attend this year’s PNBCA Bonsai Convention in Olympia, October 13-16, 2016.

1.   Guest artist workshops. A total of 14 workshops with eight priced at $100 or less. Guest artists from out of state and even a visiting artist from Japan.

All of the following are included in the $255 cost of registration (workshops and hotel additional).

2.   Demos and lectures.  Multiple demos, lectures and critiques each day.

3.   Vendor Marketplace.  A wealth of bonsai-related materials for sale, often with special convention discounts.

4.   Bonsai displays.  Some of the best trees from our region and beyond.

5.   Raffles.  "I got my favorite tree at my very first convention in a raffle."

6.   Auctions.  Another chance to obtain great trees and bonsai items.

7.   Kindred spirits.  Connect with people you already know and make new friends and connections.

8.   Olympia.  An easy road trip to a great little city ideally placed for access from all points of the compass.  Bring your honey and make it a getaway.

9.   Great food that you don't have to cook.  Enjoy breakfast and dinner with some of your new favorite bonsai people.

10.  Support PSBA.  The convention represents a substantial investment of time and money by PSBA, your local club. Show your support by participating in the convention.

The PNBCA convention moves around the region and is now a biennial event, so it likely won’t be back in the Puget Sound area for years to come. This is your chance! Gather up some bonsai buddies, come out to enjoy the convention and support your club. Don’t delay – sign up today!