PLEASE NOTE – unless otherwise noted, our regular meetings are scheduled for second Saturdays at 1 p.m. All MVBC meetings are open to the public (prospective new members). Invite friends and relatives and share with them our love for bonsai. 


MVBC 2021 Schedule 


December 11 - St. Margaret's Big Room, New Hartford 

November 13 - St. Margaret's dining room, New Hartford 

October - No meeting

September 11 & 12 - SOLD OUT National Bonsai Exhibition, Rochester, NY

 August 14 - St. Margaret's dining room, New Hartford

July - MVBC Annual Exhibition at MWPAI, Sat., July 31 and Sun., August 1

June 12 - Meeting at the Utica Zoo

May 8 - Meeting and Demonstration by Mark Arpag

April meeting is cancelled

March meeting is cancelled

February meeting at THE OTHER SIDE

January meeting is cancelled 




2020: Past meetings

January 11 - This meeting will be devoted to working on one of your trees. Everyone please bring a tree and tools. There will also be tools to borrow and the club will supply wire and soil. For members who are unsure what to do with their tree, there will be plenty of helpful guidance available.

February 8 - Working on trees, with a discussion about Junipers

March 21 - Cancelled

April Demo rescheduled to April 2021 - Mark Arpag Demo Day! 10 am-12 pm personal tree discussion; bring your lunch; 1 pm-4 pm Colorado Blue Spruce styling demo

May 9 - cancelled

June 13 -  cancelled

July 11, 1-4 p.m. CONFIRMED Mark Arpag will do a member tree review; bring a few of your trees. We will meet at D'Alessandro's Nursery. Mark will take a look at member trees, one at a time, for review and questions pertaining to that tree and species. He'll do one tree from each member, then as time permits we'll go around again. 

August 8 - Work on trees at D'Alessandro's Nursery

September 12 -Work on trees at D'Alessandro's Nursery  

International Bonsai Exhibition has been RESCHEDULED for Sept. 2021

October 10 - No meeting

November 8 - No meeting

December 19 - No meeting


2019: Past meetings

* "Show and Tell" sessions will be open to any bonsai-related project or subject that a member could be working on. Might be their tree and care, styling or display, or, for example; -How I created my irrigation system. -What I found to be the best lights for inside trees. -My system for scheduling tree repotting or maintenance. -How and were I find my best tree stock. -My best watering methods. -Were and when I find my best accent plants. Etc. When possible topics will be identified in advance.

January 12: TREE SILHOUETTE - Each member brings a tree to discuss progress, problems, possibilities, options, and next steps. Ramification and shape will be an important part of our discussion. Work on trees, time permitting.

February 9: BONSAI TRAVELS WITH CATHY BROWN - Cathy will present a slide show of some of her bonsai travels in Japan and U.S. locations such as the National Bonsai and Penjin Museum and the Pacific Rim collection.

March 9: YEAR OF THE CEDAR - Experienced Club members will give a presentation highlighting Cedar bonsai; the focus will be Northern White Cedar, thuja occidentalis.

Art Doremus will discuss seasonal care; Doug Whitfield will talk about locating and collecting— with a nursery tree as an example; and Carl Hoffner will share some thoughts on styling accompanied by images. 

April 13: JUNIPER DEMONSTRATION - Mark Arpag will transform our Club's large Juniper. Mark will begin his program at 11 a.m. when he will offer his expert advice regarding the care and styling of one of your bonsai  (bring a Juniper or any tree). At 1 p.m. Mark will begin his Juniper demonstration, which will end about 3:45 p.m. when the styled Juniper bonsai will be raffled. Bring lunch if you wish as it will be a longer, non-stop day of fun. NOTE: this meeting has extended hours.  

May 11: SHOW AND TELL* - Eight club members will bring a tree or discuss a bonsai-related topic for 10-20 minutes each. We will plan our bonsai demonstration(s) for the MWPAI Festival in July.

June 8: BONSAI SHOW TREE PREPARATION and NURSERY CRAWL - Each member bring the tree(s) they plan to show at our annucal exhibition during the MWPAI Summer Arts Festival (we hope each member will display; remember, we have a very popular feature each year — our starter tree display). Each tree will be discussed regarding tree tune up and display, pots, mossing, accents, stands and mats. We will also discuss show logistics. We will spend our second hour exploring the beautiful D'Alessandro's nursery, searching for potential bonsai material. Remember the nursery sells starter bonsai and pots too!  NOTE: this meeting is at D'Allesandro's Nursery (upper Higby Rd.)

July 6 & 7, Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: MWPAI SUMMER ARTS FESTIVAL / MVBC ANNUAL BONSAI SHOW in the Easton Pribble Room - Trees should be at the Easton Pribble room by 8:30 a.m. and removed at the conclusion on Sunday by 5 p.m. Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, 310 Genesee Street, Utica.

July 13: BONSAI 101 - Focus on Ficus to illustrate essential, basic care aimed at keeping your trees alive and thriving. The emphasis will be getting started successfully. The program will be facilitated by several of our knowledgeable members.

August 10: PICNIC/AUCTION - Please bring food to pass. Also bring bonsai-related items, trees, pots, plants for the Club's fund raiser auction. Bring cash or checkbook too.

September 14:  SHOW AND TELL*/TOOL MAINTENANCE/WORK ON YOUR OWN TREE - A member will spend ten minutes discussing a tree or other bonsai-related topic. We will also spend approximately 30 minutes learning about bonsai tools, maintenance and sharpening. The balance of the meeting will be working on your own tree. We encourage an interactive process of seeking guidance and providing mentoring to each other.  

October 12: SHOW AND TELL*/WINTER PREPARATION/WORK ON YOUR OWN TREE - A member will spend ten minutes discussing a tree or other bonsai-related topic. followed by a thirty-minute interactive Winter Prep and Care discussion/Q & A, led by a Club member. The balance of the meeting will be working on your own tree.

November 9: BONSAI CRITIQUE - Each member bring a tree (hopefully we will have a number of trees in bonsai pots) to be critiqued by several chosen Club members. Each critique will be followed by an interactive discussion. The process can be a lot of fun and full of learning for all of us. Critiques are popular at most high level bonsai shows.

December 14: HOLIDAY GATHERING AND AUCTION - Bring food to pass and bonsai-related items for the Club's fundraiser silent auction. We will take time during the fun to nominate and elect our leadership team for the coming year.


2018: Past meetings

January 13: Cancelled due to bad weather

February 17: NOTE: this is the 3rd Saturday. Exhibition and discussion of silhouette bonsai.  

March 10: TRIDENT MAPLE BLENDED-TREE WORKSHOP - Carl Hoffner leading. Concentration on blended style shohin. Members please bring your trident maples to show.

April 15: SUNDAY: LARCH DEMONSTRATION - With Dave Alexander. (Note — that's one of Dave's larches featured our web banner above). 1-3 p.m. at our regular location.

May 12: SPRING PINCHING AND PRUNING - Facilitated by Art Doremus. Concentration on larch, juniper, Japanese maple, trident maple, and hornbeams. 

June 9: BRING YOUR OWN TREE - Work on your own tree or bring a tree you intend to display in the MWPAI Bonsai Show and tune it up for the exhibition. We will discuss show preparation and encourage members to participate.

June 30, July 1: Mohawk Valley Bonsai Club Annual Show at Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute

July 14: PICNIC/AUCTION - at D'Alessandro's Nursery, 1346 Higby Rd, Frankfort (just down the road from our regular meeting location). We will discuss the selection of nursery stock for bonsai, and search for material to transform into a bonsai.

August 11: BONSAI 101 -  Facilitated by our more experienced members, we will talk about how to begin and cover the basics; it should give us all a grounding. This session is timed follow our bonsai exhibition to help new members get started.

September 8,9: NATIONAL BONSAI EXHIBITION  in Rochester - This will take the place of our regular meeting. All members are strongly encouraged to attend this outstanding show which only takes place every two years.

October 13: BRING YOUR OWN TREE - at D'Alessandro's Nursery, 1346 Higby Rd, Frankfort (just down the road from our regular meeting location). Bring your own tree to work on. The emphasis will be shohin trees and display.

November 10: BRING YOUR OWN TREE - We will work on trees with winter preparation in mind and discuss winter storage and care.

December 8: ANNUAL HOLIDAY CELEBRATION - Please bring a tree to show, food to share and bonsai-related items to donate to the Club auction. We will also nominate and elect new Club officers.



2017: Past meetings

January 14   Winter silhouette show and discussion; working session.

February 11  Pests: insect and fungal problems - how to recognize and control; presentation by Art Doremus.

March 11  Juniper workshop; club trees, working with Doug Whitfield and Carl Hoffner.

April 8  Repotting session.

May 13  Shohin roundup: Bring in our best hopes for the shohin project. Group discussion on trees, pots, display possibilities. 

June 10  Wiring trees 101: Always needed for the new members and everyone else. Also discuss preparation for club exhibition.

MVBC exhibition at MWPAI —  Sat. & Sun., July 1 & 2 

July 8  Summer gathering and working session; auction for club fundraising.

Aug 12  Juniper workshop; club trees, working with Doug Whitfield and Carl Hoffner.

Sept 9  Bring your trees; working session.

Oct 14  Bring your trees; working session, with emphasis on Chinese Elms guided by Carl Hoffner.

Nov 11 Bring your trees; working session.

Dec 9  Holiday gathering; auction for club fundraising.



2016: Past meetings

January 9: We'll plan our schedule for 2016. Please bring trees for questions and discussion.


March 12 – workshop on Clump Style Bonsai using seedlings from William Valavanis. We have chosen European Beech. A good quantity has been ordered so that participants can choose to use 3, 5, 7, 9 (or 11) in their project. These seedlings cost $4 each but the club will pay $2 and the members the other half of the cost. More specific info on soil requirements and recommended container size and style will be provided in the March newsletter. Club wire and mesh for the drainage holes will be provided. Any seedlings left over will be available for purchase ($2 each). They might be nice to have for replacement for any that might die off in your clump bonsai.

April 9 – Root pruning and re-potting workshop. Club soil, wire and mesh provided.

May 14 – Demonstration on air-layering. See April newsletter.

June 11 – All day shohin bonsai demo and workshop with Mark Arpag from Rochester and the Bonsai Society of Upstate New York. A morning demonstration on creating shohin with an afternoon workshop with trees for sale by Mark or you can bring your own appropriate trees for Mark to assist you with. Shohin are those no more than 10 inches in height. Carl Hoffner has proposed that all club members create one or more shohin over the next few years in order that the whole group can soon participate in an exhibition in future shows. We hope that Mark will also have some time to talk to us about shohin display. Much more detailed information on the special program (costs and participation limitations) will soon follow.

July 2-3 – our club show at Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute. More info will follow.

July 9 – annual club picnic and auction – AND work on trees.

August 13 – Cancelled; will try to reschedule, possibly in November. Bill Jones will lead a workshop on windswept style bonsai using Shimpaku juniper. Bill will provide the trees at a cost of $20 each. Watch for more info.

September 10 & 11 – Field-trip to the U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition in Rochester. We are planning to get our group to attend together in order to get a ‘tour guide’ who will provide a private critique on the main display. Admission is $15. There is a vast vendor area and plenty to see and inspire. The exhibit is open on Sunday as well. Mark Arpag has offered our club his critique services if we can provide specific times when he is available. He is a very busy worker at this event. More info will follow.

October 8 trip to D'Alessandro's Nursery for pre-bonsai and presentation by Doug Whitfield

November 12 Bill Jones will lead a workshop on windswept style bonsai using Shimpaku juniper. Bill will provide the trees at a cost of $20 each. 

December 10 – annual holiday gathering and auction. Please bring some type of finger food, savory or dessert, to share. Also bring a bonsai- or gardening-related item for the auction. Everyone is encouraged to bring a tree to work on as well. 



2015: Past meetings

January 11: Planning meeting

February: NO MEETING

March 14: Bill Jones will teach us how to make fertilizer balls. Bill suggests that our members each bring an aluminum roasting pan, turkey size, and latex gloves. He will supply all other ingredients and will be reimbursed by the club. Participants may take home a portion of the fertilizer that we make.

And if you happen to have any moss to share, Bill would like some different kinds of moss. Also, come prepared to discuss and ask questions about any of your trees that will need repotting this spring.

April 11: Pruning, wiring and preparation for repotting meeting. Bring trees and tools!

May 3, SUNDAY: David Paris will give a presentation and workshop: Shohin with Winter Hardy Dwarf Azalea

June 13: work on trees, especially for our exhibition at Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute and otherwise plan for exhibition.

MWPAI Exhibition: Saturday & Sunday, July 4 & 5, 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Demonstration by David Paris on Sunday at 2 p.m. Members should plan to attend and volunteer to help with the exhibition — set up, some time at the exhibition to welcome and speak with visitors, and taking down the exhibtion. 

July 11, Saturday, 1 p.m. — Annual picnic

August 9: SUNDAY, to PFM Bonsai for special workshop for MVBC members

Saturday September 12, 1 p.m. at the church, 10 Higby Road – a general ‘work-on-trees’ session. Bring your trees that might need new wiring, unwiring, or just general maintenance. There will be a show-and-tell table for discussion of your trees, perhaps newly acquired or worked on at a recent workshop.

Saturday October 10, 1 p.m. also at the church. Cathy Brown will talk about her bonsai studies in Japan (with a projector and photos).

November 14Saturday, 1 p.m. - we will work on wiring our trees

December 12Saturday, 1 p.m. — Annual holiday gathering