MV Bonsai Club

Monthly meetings are typically held on the second Saturday from 1-3 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Church of Utica 10 Higby Rd, Utica, NY 13501

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April 13 - Juniper Demonstration with Mark Arpag

11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

An award-winning bonsai artist, Mark has given many lectures and demonstrations and h
as been recognized at three U.S. National Bonsai Exhibitions: in 2018 he was awarded the All American Award (Finest American Species in American Container on an American Bonsai Display Table) for his American larch; in 2014 his balsam fir and kusamono received the Finest Bonsai and Companion Combination; and in 2010, he was presented the North American Bonsai Award (Finest North American Native Species Bonsai) for his Eastern White Cedar.

Mark is looking forward to revisiting our club's juniper — which he has worked on previously — and sharing deadwood feature treatments and design considerations as well as discussing pad development and refinement, and overall care of juniper bonsai.

He 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 for his evaluation).

We'll take a break for lunch (bring your own lunch).

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.

Raffle tickets will be $5 each; please bring cash or check. 



For our club, this is the year of the cedar — the focus will be Northern White Cedar, thuja occidentalis, pictured below. Our thanks to Art Doremus, Doug Whitfield and Carl Hoffner for their interesting and informative presentation on cedar on March 9. 

Northern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis), Lake Placid, NY, February 2019



Please take some time to check out the many bonsai resources listed on our LINKS page >>  

Thank you for attending our annual exhibition at Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute on June 30 and July 1, 2018

MVBC is grateful to American Bonsai Society board member Pauline Muth, from PFM Bonsai, for attending our exhibition and awarding Best of Show to our member Carl Hoffner's beautiful American Larch.

More photos >>


The Mohawk Valley Bonsai Club was invited to have a display table at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute members' opening reception for the exhibition Kimono! (June 9). We are grateful to MWPAI for this wonderful opportunity.


Some past meetings and items of interest:

Thank you Dave Alexander for your wonderful larch

Please check out the photos
on our Facebook page >>


Thank you to Rick Short for his essay "Father-Son Pairing" which accompanies December's newsletter.

Please enjoy reading it! >> 




Our thanks to Carl for his presentation on Chinese Elms! More photos >>

Thank you Carl and Doug for your juniper demonstration. Pictured below are the winners of the two demo trees: Nancy Knapp won the tree designed by Doug Whitfield; Rick and Wendy Short won the tree designed by Carl Hoffner. More photos >>

Our study group at D'Alessandro's Nursery was informative and enjoyable. Check out our photos on Facebook.


Photos from our shohin roundup meeting:


A bonsai is considered a shohin if it measures approximately 20 cm or 8 inches from the top of the pot to the top of the tree. 

The image below is from the Gafu-ten shohin exhibition which was held in Kyoto in January 2016. More shohin photos >>

Our thanks to Art Doremus for an interesting and informative presentation on insect and fungal problems — how to recognize and control them.

Reference links from the presentation:


Bill Jones workshop on windswept style junipers. More photos >>

Pre-bonsai search party at D’Alessandro’s Landscape Nursery, where we enjoyed a presentation on mugo pine by club member Doug Whitfield. More photos >>


Mark Arpag shohin demonstration and workshop

More photos >>    Videos on our Facebook page >>

(Below) January 2016; Chojubai (flowering quince) displayed in tokonoma at Kunio Kobayashi’s Shunka-en bonsai museum in Tokyo.


(Below) January 2016; flowering Ume (Japanese apricot) displayed in tokonoma at Kunio Kobayashi’s Shunka-en bonsai museum in Tokyo.




Browse the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum (Saitama, Japan) website: 






Mohawk Valley Bonsai Club Mission

Providing opportunities to have fun while developing skills, the Mohawk Valley Bonsai Club is a forum for learning, inspiring, building knowledge, and connecting with the greater bonsai community. 

The group first met in a park in July 2005 and has grown to include newcomers to the hobby as well as those with 20+ years of experience!


Club Officers 2019

President Doug Whitfield

Co-Vice Presidents Nancy Knapp and Alyson Jones

Secretary Deverie Hunt

Treasurer Wendy Short

Librarian Nancy Knapp



"The object is not to make the tree look like a bonsai, but to make a bonsai look like a tree." — John Naka