Welcome to the Triangle Bonsai Society

Welcome to the website of the Triangle Bonsai Society (TBS). Although centered in the Triangle, we have active members living throughout the eastern half of North Carolina. TBS promotes the art of bonsai through meetings, lectures, workshops, and demonstrations, featuring local, regional, national, and international bonsai artists.

Monthly meetings are normally held at 1:30 pm the first Sunday of the month, at the Commons Building or Agricultural Extension Service, Wake County Office Park - 4011 Carya Dr, Raleigh, NC, 27610  Please consult our events page for the month's meeting schedule.

Our meetings are open, so if you are not yet a member, but may be interested in bonsai. Please come and visit us!

October 4th, 2014 - Peter Tea Workshops Signup

Saturday, October 4th, Peter will conduct 2 workshops. The morning workshop will feature procumbens junipers. The fee for this workshop is $40 and covers the workshop and the tree. The afternoon workshop is a bring your own tree workshop. The fee for this workshop is $35 and is limited to 10 participants.

2014 State Fair booth signup

We need your help to help talk to the public about bonsai.  Please let us know when you can come and help.

Where should we send your tickets and parking pass?

September 6, 2014 - Bjorn Bjorholm workshop signup

The Bjorn Bjorholm workshops will be held on Saturday, September 6. There are a limited number of participants for each of the two workshops. Please note that both workshops are bring your own tree workshops, and the material brought should already be well under development.

Workshop #1 - $75 - 9:00AM - 12:30PM Limited to 6 advanced members.
Workshop #2 - $40 - 1:30PM - 5:00PM Limited to 8 intermediate to advanced members.


7th Annual Triangle Bonsai Expo

Our 7th Annual Triangle Bonsai Expo on June 7th & 8th at the J.C. Raulston Arboretum was a great success. Many thanks to all of our cub members for coming out and participating. It is always a treat for us to share our beautiful bonsai's with the public and the J.C. Raulston Arboretum show marks our time in the spring to share them with the public. Special thanks to Joe Noga for the photographs of this years show.  Check out the photos here.


Bonsai Progression – Mame satzuki azalea

By Steve Zeisel

2005 July 2006 October 2006

A small white Satsuki azalea was purchased in 2005 at a local nursery. The nebari was good, but the trunk diameter was too thin for the height of the tree. After looking at it for a year, I decided that the plant needed to be pruned back. A low lateral branch was removed, as was most of the upper branching. New growth sprouted quickly and branches were selected so that they rotated at 120 degree angles (moving left-back-right) as branches rose up the trunk. In late 2006 the bonsai was repotted into a shallower pot.

2008 2012 2011

In 2010 the azalea was again repotted into a shallower hand-made pot that accentuates the nebari and trunk width. The azalea blooms in May.


By 2013 the azalea’s rootage has developed with excellent trunk flare, and the apex has developed a rounded profile The azalea blooms in May.

Progression Tips

  • Select a plant with good nebari (rootage).
  • Adjust the height of the bonsai based on the trunk width. Do pruning in early Spring.
  • Shorter makes trunk appear proportionately thicker.
  • Use a pot that is approximately 2/3 the width of the bonsai and that has a depth that is 1-1/2x the trunk diameter.

January 2014 Meeting

Its January and time to start planing for repotting in the spring. In our January meeting we discussed different bonsai soil components and mixtures. In the meeting we sifted and mixed several mixtures using Dry Stall (pumice), Turface (highly fired clay), Perma-Till (expanded shale), Well sand, Seqouia bark and Peat Moss.

Componant Evergreen Deciduous Azalea or
High Acididity
Turface 25% 33%   33%   25%
Permatil 50% 33% 33% 33% 33%  
Dry Stall 25%         25%
Bark   33% 33% 33% 33% 50%
Coarse Sand     33%   33%  
Peat      1/8 or less  

Check out the photos in the TBS Gallery: Jan 2014


2013 Winter​ Bonsai Silhouette Expo

In December our very own Steven Zeisel started the Winter​ Bonsai Silhouette Expo.  This event was an overwhelming success and Steven has graciously agreed to bring the event back in 2014.  If you didn't make it this past year, you dont know what you missed but hopefully you can get a small idea by viewing our TBS Gallery: 2013 - Winter​ Bonsai Silhouette Expo. Make sure you mark your calendars for the next show on Dec 6-7 2014, you will not be disappointed!

Also make sure you take a look at Valavanis Bonsai Blog to see additional info and photos from the 2013 show.