The Willamette Valley Bonsai Society meets in Salem, Oregon. The Society is organized solely to promote the art and science of bonsai through education, exhibits and social activities. The Society welcomes anyone from the curious novice to experienced master. Participating in the Society is an excellent way to learn the techniques of bonsai, and to discover the local resources available for bonsai plant material, pots and other supplies.

Club Activities:

• Guest speakers to educate our members about different species and methods of creating and caring for bonsai including advice on our own trees and propagation methods.

• Member presentations to provide information on the design and horticultural aspects of different species, e.g. tree of the month presentations.

• Member hands-on work sessions to assist each other in repot and design.

• Plan extra activities for members to increase and share knowledge of bonsai such as plant digs, nursery ventures, slab making, visits to bonsai conventions and gardens.

• Stimulate interest in, information on and appreciation of the art of bonsai by participating in fairs, exhibitions, conventions and other educational displays for members and non-members alike.

• Annual summer family picnic and winter holiday party.


Bonsai (say BONE-SIGH) is an ancient and living Asian art form, thought to have originated in China over 2,000 years ago, and later adopted by the Koreans and Japanese. During the early 1900’s, America was introduced to bonsai and its popularity has been growing here since. Bonsai is now an art and hobby practiced all over the world.

Bonsai are trained out of many different kinds of trees and plants. The word “bonsai” is derived from two written characters that translate roughly as “a planting in a shallow container”.

Bonsai are living plants that are shaped by selective pruning and bending with wire. Bonsai differ from other potted plants in that most potted plants are appreciated for their own physical characteristics – flowers, form or foliage. Bonsai, however, are appreciated for their suggestive power – their ability to represent large landscapes, trees or scenes in nature. Emphasizing certain aspects of a plant such as thickness of the trunk or spacing of branches can make a small, young tree suggest a large, old tree. 

WVBS Mission:

The WVBS is organized exclusively for non-profit, charitable, scientific, literary, and educational purposes. Its mission is to:

  1. Advance education in the aesthetic, historical, scientific, and horticultural features of the ancient and living art of bonsai.
  2. Stimulate interest in and appreciation of bonsai.
  3. Provide educational displays, information about the art of bonsai and the horticultural aspects of different species.
  4. Conduct meetings, exhibitions, and conventions to further the public's knowledge and interest in the art of bonsai.
  5. Encourage and aid in the formation of clubs, societies, or associations to promote and further the art of bonsai in Oregon.
  6. Provide educational activities for members and non-members to increase and share knowledge of bonsai.

To this end, the WVBS shall at all times be operated exclusively for charitable purposes. All funds, whether income or principal, and whether acquired by gift or contribution or otherwise, shall be devoted to said purposes.