Workshops

Workshops
Friday

9:30a-11:30a
Midwestern US native Kusamono w/ Young Choe

Assemble a kusamono made entirely from North American native small grasses, flowers, mosses, and shrubs under the guidance of Kusamono expert, Young Choe.

Assemble a kusamono composed entirely of North American native plants in locally-handcrafted kusamono vessels (included) under the expertise and guidance of Young Choe. The exact selection of plant species will depend on local availability and will be hand-picked by Young.

Young Choe gathers material for her workshops locally, just before they are scheduled to occur. The above is a kusamono from her website.

$75

Includes: Plants, soil, wire, and 1 handcrafted kusamono vessel

A locally hand-crafted kusamono vessel will be included with the workshop.

10:00a-12:00p
Azalea ‘Koun-no-hikari’ w/ Dave Kreutz

MIdwest azalea specialist, Dave Kreutz, walks you though the initial setup and styling of these freshly imported ‘Koun-no-hikari’ specimens from Japan.

$275

Includes: 1 azalea ‘Koun-no-hikari’, wire


12:00p-5:30p
Large Twisted Junipers 1 w/ Tyler Sherrod

Wire, bend, carve, and clean these impressive contorted junipers with Tyler

This intimate workshop will have a maximum of five participants and extended time due to the challenge, complexity, and size of the material. These pre-bonsai junipers were grown for over a decade by a talented grower who wishes to remain anonymous. Note that the junipers from Workshops #2 and #6 are all from this same world-class batch. They were intentionally set up and grown to emulate the twisted, contorted forms of junipers naturally growing in harsh environments with complicated structures and an eye for future jins and shari. After being ground grown for many years, they were transplanted to nursery pots and bonsai mix for several more years. The advanced practitioner will not be disappointed and will be challenged with carving, defining lines, defining the veins, and styling a top-tier juniper. These are not trees for novices. This intimate workshop will have a maximum of five participants to allow for extra one on one time with your instructor. The trunks are between 2-3.5” in diameter and the trees climb up to 20 inches high. Each one is unique and has the potential to be a cornerstone specimen within your bonsai collection.

Large Junipers workshop

$765

Includes: 1 juniper and wire


1:00p-4:30p
Sekka Hinoki w/ Bjorn Bjorholm

Style a Hinoki Cypress ‘Sekka’ with Bjorn Bjorholm

These 1 gallon beauties stand between 8 to 12 inches tall and are ready for you to take them to the next level under the experienced guidance of Bjorn Bjorholm. These were originally sourced from Brussel’s Bonsai, hand-picked by a skilled practitioner and have been set up over the past two years to be more than ready for their bonsai transition. There are many branches and interesting trunklines to choose from in this batch. Because Sekka Hinoki are slow growing trees with tight foliage, these will be great candidates for shohin bonsai, but they are certainly capable of continuing to grow to larger sizes with your patience and guidance.

Sekka Hinoki workshop

$160

Includes: 1 Hinoki Cypress ‘Sekka’ and wire


1:30p-5:00p
Fused Trident Maples w/ Marija

Elevate a clump-style trident maple to the next level with Marija Hajdic

Three or more trunks have been fused by growing over a plastic tile to create excellent multi-trunk trees for bonsai. In this workshop you and your instructor, Marija, can choose which direction to take your trees – you may decide to prune them low to develop a stunning shohin specimen or guide them with wire and trimming toward larger specimens. These trees are much older than they look and have been slow-grown for years in bonsai mix and nursery pots. The clumps have completely fused at their 3-4” bases, with a main trunk caliper of approximately one inch (measured 2 inches above the base). These trees have been pruned yearly to encourage branching on the lower trunks and currently stand at about 15 inches tall.

Fused Trident workshop

$215

Includes: 1 clump-style Trident Maple and wire


2:30p-6:00p
Shohin workshop #1: Chinese elms and Harland Boxwoods w/ Andrew

Style two shohin trees under the guidance of Andrew Robson

These Harland Boxwoods and Chinese elms will make great addition to your shohin collection. They were handpicked for low trunk movement and/or branching (including several with twin or triple-trunks). The boxwoods sport a unique furrowed bark, enhancing their aged appearance. Learn how to transition these small pre-bonsai starters into your next shohin-sized bonsai with Andrew Robson.

Boxwood and Elm workshop

$150

Includes: 1 of each shohin-sized chinese elm and harland boxwood and wire


Saturday

8:30a-2:00p
Large Twisted Junipers 2 w/ Bjorn

Wire, bend, carve, and clean these impressive contorted junipers with Bjorn Bjorholm

These junipers have been wired, twisted, rewired and grown for over (a decade?) to create tortured forms reminescent of junipers growing in remote alpine regions. This workshop runs for 5.5 hours and is capped at 5 participants to enable greater 1 on 1 time with the instructor. Workshop will have a heavy component of deadwood carving to bring out the unique character of each tree.

Large Junipers workshop

$765

Includes: 1 juniper and wire


8:30a-12:00p
Bring your own tree w/ Mauro

Bring your own tree to work on with Mauro Stemberger

Participants should bring one tree to work on under the guidance of Mauro Stemberger

$150

Includes: Wire (participants bring their own tree)


9:30a-1:00p
Cryptomeria w/ Tyler

Style a formal or informal-upright Cryptomeria with Tyler Sherrod

These excellent specimens were carefully hand-picked at Brussel’s last year as trees that would make excellent formal and informal upright Cryptomeria japonica. They already have much presence with 1.5-2 inch trunks sporting subtle movement and excellent taper. You could put these directly into a bonsai pot with no further work and enjoy it on your bench, but with some time, attention to detail, and under Tyler’s guidance you’ll be able to elevate these to top-level specimen trees. There are many branches and fronts to choose from so get ready for a treat with this amazing species that is very under-utilized in the United States. They are in 3 gallon pots and will be ready for you to put into a fine bonsai pot in spring of ‘25 after the workshop.

Cryptomeria workshop

$250

Includes: 1 Cryptomeria japonica (upright style) and wire


2:00a-5:30p
Bring your own tree w/ Marija

Bring your own tree to work on with Marija Hajdic

Participants should bring one tree to work on under the guidance of Marija Hajdic

$150

Includes: Wire (participants bring their own tree)

3:00p-5:00p
Seasonal Kusamono w/ Young Choe

Assemble a spring seasonal kusamono from small grasses, flowers, and mosses under the guidance of Kusamono expert, Young Choe

Assemble a kusamono designed to highlight the seasonality of spring in a locally-handcrafted kusamono vessels (included) under the expertise and guidance of Young Choe. The exact selection of plant species will depend on local availability and will be hand-picked by Young.

Young Choe gathers material for her workshops locally, just before they are scheduled to occur. The above is a kusamono from her website.

$75

Includes: Plants, soil, wire, and 1 handcrafted kusamono vessel

Included with this workshop are one-of-a-kind, handmade kusamono pots, made by our local potters.

1:00p-4:30p
Shohin workshop #2: Crabapples and mugo pines

Style two shohin trees (Crabapple and Mugo Pine) under the guidance of one of our experienced club members or vendors.

The crabapples originally were sourced as seedlings (not-grafted) from Cass Bonsai as they were closing their doors on their historic business in 2019. Since then, they have been pot-grown and pruned yearly to develop movement and branching down low and have grown into unique pre-bonsai that will make stunning shohin specimens. Most are single-trunked, but a few twin-trunks are available as well. The silvery bark and green leaves are beautiful throughout the year with the added bonus of a spring flower show and fall fruit display that should begin within the next year or two on these stunning young trees. The mugo pines were carefully hand-picked in spring of ’23 from Brussel’s Bonsai for low interesting movement, engaging trunk lines, and branch placement for shohin-sized trees. With your instructors guidance, you can simplify, clean, and wire them to take them to the next level. They will be ready for repotting to a bonsai pot in Spring ’25 and will make a nice counterpoint to their crabapple companions.

Crabapple workshop

$140

Includes: 1 of each shohin-sized crabapple and mugo pine


Sunday

8:30a-12:00p
Gingkos w/ Marija

Style a naturalistic, kabudachi, or “flame” style Gingko with Marija Hajdic

One of our club leaders chose these trees over 4 years ago for a workshop that had to be cancelled due to COVID19. Since that time, the trees have weathered, survived, and rebounded from the historic St. Louis flood of ’22. They have been meticulously grown, pruned, and repotted from nusery pots to Anderson flats where they have exploded with growth. Each tree is unique with many trunks to choose from. Some will make excellent munti-trunk flame-style trees and others could be guided into single, double or triple trunk trees. You can’t go wrong with any one of these lovely trees. With bases between 2.5-5 inches, fantastic nebari, and heights up to 24 inches – these trees are top-tier pre-bonsai. You are in for a treat if you are one of the lucky ones to be able to work on these fantastic character-filled trees with Marija Hajdic.

Ginkgo workshop

$325

Includes: 1 Gingko biloba and wire


8:30a-12:00p
Beech w/ Andrew

Style a European Beech ‘Sandrode’ with Andrew Robson

Fagus sylvatica ‘Sandrode’ is a unique dwarf cultivar of European Beech with smaller buds, shorter internodes, and small 1.5″-2″ oak-shaped leaves – making them excellent candidates for bonsai. These trees are tall and slender, but already have some secondary and tertiary ramification in place. Learn how to select branches and set up European Beech and transition yours into a graceful upright composition with deciduous specialist, Andrew Robson.

Beech workshop

$235

Includes: 1 Beech and wire


8:30a-12:00p
JBPs (2.5-4 inch trunks) w/ Mauro

Style an informal-upright Japanese Black Pine with Mauro Stemberger

This workshop will feature a mix of excellent standard and cork-bark Japanese Black pines in 3 gallon pots with 2-3+ inch trunks. These were hand-picked last year with an eye for great movement and taper and since then have had a year of careful attention. This year the foliage has been balanced, needles decandled and a few simple cutbacks have been made so that these trees will be more than ready to make the full-on transition to bonsai in short order. These classic trees will offer several options and many of them have several potential fronts so you can style your tree with your own vision or with the combined vision of you and your instructor, Mauro Stemberger.

JBP workshop

$295

Includes: 1 Japanese Black Pine (corkbark or standard) and wire


8:30a-12:00p
Shitakusa creation (create 2 accents) w/ Young Choe

Create two shitakusa or accent plants with Young Choe

Assemble a kusamono designed to highlight the seasonality of spring in a locally-handcrafted kusamono vessels (included) under the expertise and guidance of Young Choe. The exact selection of plant species will depend on local availability and will be hand-picked by Young.

Young Choe gathers material for her workshops locally, just before they are scheduled to occur. The above is a kusamono from her website.

$60

Includes: Plants, soil, wire, and 2 handcrafted accent pots

Two unique accent pots, handmade by local potters will be included with the workshop.

8:30a-12:00p
BYOT w/ Bjorn

Bring your own tree with Bjorn Bjorholm

Participants should bring one tree to work on under the guidance of Bjorn Bjorholm.

JBP workshop

$150

Includes: Wire (participants bring their own tree)



Workshop material gallery

Finding good material is always difficult, but getting lots of it at once is a real challenge. Take a look at what we’ve got so far.