July 5, 2023

Everything you need to know for the 51st Annual Columbus Bonsai Society Show! See you July 29-30

The outline for the weekend is included below. As we get more information, I will continue to update this page. Mark your calendars and see you there!


  1. Event Overview
  2. Where & When!
  3. Vendors & Guest Artists in Attendance
  4. Workshop Schedule & Details
  5. Raffle & Silent Auction Details
  6. How to Exhibit Trees
  7. Educational Display
  8. Why & How to Volunteer
  9. Bonsai Time Podcast Interviews with CBS Show Vendors/Artists

I. Event Overview

            This year the Columbus Bonsai Society will be hosting our 51st Annual Bonsai Show and we are making a big bash of it! While we have been spreading the news all around Ohio and beyond, we have also been at work behind the scenes to make this event special. For starters, our headliner artist and judge David Cutchin will be sharing his knowledge with audiences and critiquing exhibited trees. We also are proud to host many talented vendors and their workshops! These vendors include Rob Hoffman, Ken Huth, Mark Passerello, Dan White, Ryan Huston, Jason Parrish, Kyle Boldy, Melissa, Sara, and Ellen from The Flower Market. Visitors can also observe workshops silently at no charge. Please see the detailed schedule in the workshop schedule below to register ahead and learn more. We also plan to include a raffle, a food truck, and more!

II. Where & When!

            We hope to see you and your family at the Dawes Arboretum (7770 Jackson Rd, Newark, OH 43056) on July 29-30th, 2023. The Dawes Arboretum is also a large garden estate only a short drive from downtown Columbus. They have a variety of settings for visitors to enjoy including a Japanese garden, a topiary garden, and natural Ohio forests. Explore these landscapes and more over miles of walking trails and appreciate their numerous rare species and cultivars of trees. Our CBS show will be located at the visitor center by the main entrance as well as downhill by the Japanese Garden. The exhibited member trees and the educational display will be in the visitor center's largest room and in their outdoor bonsai pavilion, respectively. Workshops and the raffle table will be in a tent near the visitor center along the trail to the Japanese Garden. Vendors and the Central Ohio Cactus and Succulent Society outreach table will be housed in tents on the grassy island by the Japanese Garden parking lot/road. Visitors should use caution in crossing the road by the japanese garden when visiting the vendors outside early or late in the day Saturday (10am-12pm and 4pm-5pm) as there will be lots of activity by Dawes and outside community groups setting up during those times.

            While visiting The Dawes Arboretum, be sure to stop by the Japanese Garden Festival on Saturday, June 29 from 12-4pm! With hands-on activities for all ages, food trucks and more, there will be something for everyone to enjoy. There will be opportunities to join a guided meditation session, practice calligraphy, create-your-own origami and learn the history of the Japanese Garden. Plus, attendees can register to participate in a formal tea service with a tea master. Learn more at https://dawesarb.org/japanese-garden-festival.

Map for the event. On Saturday during the Japanese Festival, due to high visitor numbers anticipated the road into the arboretum to the japanese festival will be ONE WAY. All persons exiting will need to follow the road north to the secondary Dawes exit.

Event Schedule

III. Vendors & Guest Artists in Attendance

<vendor graphic / map coming soon>
            Vendors will be located in the parking lot adjacent to the Japanese garden starting at 10am Saturday and 9am Sunday and ending by 5pm each day. However, visitors should use caution when visiting the vendor area between the hours of 10am-12pm and 4pm-5pm on Saturday due to the set up and tear down of the Japanese Festival which will happen during those times. This means stay in the vendor area as surrounding areas of the Japanese festival will be closed to the public. Also, be cautious around the road in that area as the food trucks will be moving in and out during set up times!

IV. Workshop Schedule & Details

    Current as of 7.07.23
    Sign-up at columbusbonsai.org! - Sign-ups ARE LIVE! See the link for each workshop sign up in the schedule below.

Workshop registration & check-in info:

After reviewing the summary and schedule of workshops below, you can reserve your spots at the CBS web store here. Please reserve your workshop spots by Wednesday, 7/26/2023 as this will ensure you get the spots you want! We will be letting the vendors know how many people are registered for their workshop in advance so they can plan for how many supplies to bring as we know their space is limited. Also, If you register for a workshop after Wednesday 7/26/23, your name may not make it onto the list of registered participants for check-in and you will have to bring a receipt or have one accessible in your email/phone on the day of the event for verification. If the vendor runs out of supplies, we will refund late check-ins but let's avoid that issue, please! On the day of the event, remaining workshop spots may still be purchased online through the CBS online store or via cash/check on the day of the event, with a receipt at the workshop check-in station. Late availability is not guaranteed. Contact our treasurer/workshop coordinator with any questions – Ryan / ry2tree2 @ gmail.com. Lastly, CBS Members receive a discount compared to non-members. You can join CBS here. Membership will be verified at workshop check-in.

Workshop Schedule and Info:

  1. Saturday 7/29/23
    1. 10:00 AM -11:00 AM - Pinch Pots with Mark Passerrello. Members: $40/person, non-members: $44/person; limit 10 participants. No special skills or tools are required.
      1. Learn the basics of clay, an ancient and familiar material that can be manipulated in surprising ways. Basic techniques will be demonstrated and you’ll have the chance to put them to use, making your very own pot appropriate for small bonsai or other types of plants. These pots are high-fired and can be used outdoors or indoors. Cost includes materials, instruction, and delivery of the finished, fired pot to you.
    2. 11:00 AM - 01:00 PM - Ikebana Flower Displays with The Flower Market. Members: $54/person, non-members: $59/person; limit 10 participants. No skills or tools are required.
      1. Learn about the Japanese style and art of floral arrangements known as "Ikebana". This form of floral arrangement differs from more Western styles as it is rooted in creating realistic plant landscapes within the arrangements. Basic techniques will be demonstrated such as ideas around species selection and spacing. Tools including ceramic basins and flowers for use will be provided with the participation fee.
    3. 01:00 PM - 3:00 PM - Shohin Chinese Elm Styling with Jason Parrish. Members: $60, non-members: $65; limit 8 participants. Participants should bring tools and wire.
      1.  Study how to prune, style, and maintain a shohin (hand-held) Chinese elm bonsai with Jason Parrish. This species is unique in that it can be treated as both a tropical or a deciduous depending on where and how you care for it.
      2. A sample of the shohin Chinese elm you will be working on in this workshop. Image provided by Kawa No Oka Bonsai.
    4. 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM - CBS Ficus Beginner Workshop with Ryan Huston & CBS Volunteers. Members: $40/person, non-members: $50/person; limit 10 participants. No special skills or tools are required.
      1. This beginner-friendly workshop will teach you the basics of keeping an indoor tropical bonsai (Ficus microcarpa) alive, how to repot, how to prune, and how to wire the trunk. It will be in the form of hands-on work and question and answering due to the time limit. Participants get to take home a mature 3-year-old ficus rooted cutting, which will be styled with guidance in the workshop, and we will be planting it into a pot made by our own Mark Passerrello. In addition to the plants and pots, bonsai soil, drainage hole screens, wires, and loaner pruning shears will be provided. All proceeds of this workshop go to CBS.
    5. 5:00PM - 7:00 PM - Private Guided CBS Show Walkthrough with David Cutchin. Members: $15, non-members: $20; limit 25 participants. ONE DAY ONLY (not available on Sunday).
      1. Hear our skilled judge and renowned bonsai artist, David Cutchin critique and provide insights into the trees at the CBS Show. This will be educational on all aspects of bonsai development and display as David offers his perception of the trees, how they got to where they are, and how they may be improved.
  1. Sunday 7/30/22
    1. 09:00 AM -11:00 AM - Twisted Shohin Japanese Black Pine with Rob Hoffman. Members: $60/person, non-members: $65/person; limit 10 participants. Participants should bring tools and wire.
      1. Learn how to make humble Japanese Black Pine seedlings into interesting gnarly trees with a more rugged life story by bending their trunks and branches. Rob will explain how to bend these branches into convincing patterns and will also discuss the generalities of Japanese Black Pine development.
    2. 11:00 AM - 01:00 PM - Prostrata Juniper Styling (3-gallon plants) with Kyle Boldy. Members: $300/person, non-members: $325/person; limit 6 participants. Participants should bring tools and wire (copper preferred).
      1. Kyle will explain how to clean up a 3-gallon prostrata juniper to transform it from humble pre-bonsai into something more recognizable! He will focus the time of this workshop on how to select branches to keep when cleaning up a bushy tree and subsequently how to wire primary branches. Kyle will also explain the necessary next steps such as how one carves shari into the trunk of a juniper to add interesting deadwood and how to perform fine wiring after the initial branches are set.
        A sample of the material Kyle will bring. The starting point is like this.
      3. This is an example of what you can get out of styling Kyle's junipers. He said this one took him 12 hours to style completely. You probably will not get this far by the end of the workshop, but at least you will have an idea of how to get there and be on the way.
      4. 01:00 PM - 3:00 PM - Medium-Large Chinese Elm Styling with Ken Huth. Prices vary by the tree selected. Up to 10 are available in any size: $65, $95, $185 $65, $350, $450, $650. The first 10 trees of any size that are sold are what Ken will bring to the show. Due to the number of options for this workshop, we will not price members and non-vendors differently to make sure the options are clear on the website. Limit 10 total participants. Participants should bring tools and wire.
        1. Ken has a wide selection of rugged-barked Chinese elm which can be trained as deciduous or tropical bonsai. The trunks on these trees are generally already developed. Now they are in need of branch selection, pruning to induce back-budding, and styling the selected branches that will be kept.

        2. $65 sample tree

          $95 sample tree

          $185 sample tree

          $350 sample trees

          $450 sample tree

          $650 sample tree
      5. 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM - Naturalistic Deciduous Bonsai with Privet Yamadori from Ryan Huston. $24-90/person. Price varies by size and overall natural deadwood/plant quality.  Due to the number of options for this workshop, we will not price members and non-vendors differently to make sure the options are clear on the website. Limit 8 total participants. Participants should bring pruning tools, wire, and hand carving tools if possible, but a small quantity can be loaned.
        1. Ryan has an assortment of old privet yamadori/yardadori which he rescued from a hedgerow in 2022 and which have survived and recovered from the dig for 1 year. These thriving plants have branched out abundantly from their stumps which means it is a good time to select primary branches that we want to allow to thicken, select branches that we want to keep but promote ramification on, pick a front for the future design, and remove unnecessary branches. Along with wiring of branches of interest, a future design will take place by the end of this workshop. Ryan will also show some older privet bonsai which he has been working on since digging in 2020 to illustrate the technical aspects of working with this species and how to use deadwood on this species to make naturalistic deciduous bonsai.

    V. Raffle & Silent Auction Details

                Raffle tickets will be available for purchase throughout the weekend for a variety of
    items including pots, trees, and tools. The various raffle items were generously donated by CBS members, vendors, and local businesses. The CBS Fundraiser Raffle is sponsored by the following local businesses:

    Vendor sponsors
                Raffle drawings will take place at the CBS booth by the Japanese Garden at 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM each day. The exact item list and schedule for drawings will be available at the raffle table at the show. We would prefer items be picked up on the same day or before the end of the show, but if necessary, winners may be able to pick up items at a future CBS meeting. Our raffle manager (Bill Holterman) will contact the winners to arrange pickup! Lastly, Contact Bill Holterman (holtermanwilliam @ gmail.com) if you would like to join the sponsor list!

    VI. How to Exhibit Trees

                Exhibiting your bonsai is a great exercise as it encourages you to think differently especially surrounding long-term preparations, display ideas, and short-term actions you can take to maximize your aesthetic goals. All CBS members are eligible to enter a tree into our show. If you are a paid-up member for 2023, please search in your inbox for the information from our tree curator regarding how to submit. You can also contact him directly at uhrick.richard @ gmail.com .

    Tree drop-off to the visitor center will be 1pm-6pm Friday and 9am-10am (preferably on the earlier side!) Saturday.
    Tree pick-up will be 4pm-6:30pm Sunday.

    VII. Educational Display

                Our own Kevin Faris is curating up an educational bonsai display in the outdoor bonsai display pavilion at the Dawes visitor center. Contact him at kevinfarispnwbonsai @ gmail.com if you would like to enter a tree in development with an informational printout or another type of educational item for this display area.

    VIII. Why and How to Volunteer?

                Volunteering is a wonderful way to get involved in the local bonsai scene and to get to know the knowledgeable local artists who can help you on your bonsai journey. As an added benefit of helping the club make a successful event, CBS will reimburse/provide free entry to volunteers into Dawes Arboretum for the day of your shift (otherwise the cost of entry is $10/day unless you are a Dawes member). We need help with the raffle table, educational tree docents/security, and vendor/workshop assistants. Thanks to everyone who helps make the show happen! To get your name added on the volunteer list, contact our volunteer coordinator at dwightemaxwell @ gmail.com .

    Volunteers will be needed for set up, Friday 1pm-6pm and Saturday 8am-10am.
    Volunteers will be needed throughout the show 10am-5pm on Saturday and 10am-4pm Sunday.
    Lastly, volunteers are needed for tear-down on Sunday, 4pm-6:30pm.

    IX. Bonsai Time Podcast Interviews with CBS Show Guest Artists

                Kevin and Ryan have had the opportunity to interview a few of the upcoming 51st CBS Show guest artists and we hope to add more each year! You can hear their stories below ahead of the show and find other recent episodes of the "Bonsai Time Podcast" on your preferred podcast app.

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