MBS Bonsai Classes

Our opportunity to study hoticulture, design principles and bonsai techniques.

Milwaukee Bonsai Society offers high-quality Bonsai training. As Bonsai is an art-form where the work you produce is our sole concern. Bonsai is a highly rewarding hobby, is often seen as difficult and steeped in tradition. MBS teaches you the basics of Bonsai and assists you in styling, growing and maintaining your Bonsai trees.

Explore our current classes and register for a class.


Beginner Class

Are you ready to begin or renew your journey into the art of Bonsai? Our Beginner Class was designed primarily for adults seeking to learn how to create and maintain their first bonsai. While it is a sometimes referred to as a workshop, it gives you everything you need to get started on your journey. Members of the Milwaukee Bonsai Society are on hand to help with the creation of your first Bonsai ‘masterpiece’! Usually held in Fall and sometimes in early Spring as well.


Novice Class 2014

Discussion topics include specific care of tropical and cold hardy trees, an introduction to soil and how to select good material for bonsai training. You will also have hands on experience with styling and proper technique of wiring your tree. You gain confidence in care of bonsai. Using Tom Zane's "Introduction to Bonsai" This series of five sessions is designed for both complete beginners who are new to bonsai and for veteran enthusiast wishing to explore the world of bonsai. Our class sizes are small and intimate and we welcome students of all levels.


Intermediate Class

For those members who find that they are committed to furthering their understanding and enjoyment of the art of bonsai there is the Intermediate Class. This class is designed to deepen the principles that you have already learned by incorporating teaching methods such as lecture, discussion, demonstration, review, repetition, critique, and hands on work with your own trees. Each of the sessions focus on one of the three important seasons of bonsai work: Spring repotting, Summer tree development, and Fall assessment and preparation for next year’s growth expectations.


Peter Lecture

The class objective is the continuation of the opportunity for members of MBS to study under the guidance of a bonsai master to learn and apply bonsai design and horticultural principles to their bonsai. The Advance Class program is intended to foster each student’s advancement and to contribute to her/his future work as a bonsai leader in MBS. You do not need to have advanced skills for this class. It is meant to take students with intermediate and above skill levels and improve upon them. A commitment to these classes must be made for three years with three classes a year. Currently the Advance Class is in its second year with Master Peter Tea. Watch this website and MBS Newsletters for opportunities for the next Advance Class.

Study Groups

Informal bonsai study groups are formed among members to practice, study, and share the art of bonsai with each other. Members of a study group are self-directed and commit to help each other. Because study groups meet regularly you learn faster, spend more time working on bonsai and gain new perspectives. Many times these groups attend MBS workshops together and are formed from graduates of previous classes. Consider starting your own study group. For help in getting started ask Pam W.


All of instructors for Novice, Bonsai Basics, and Intermediate Classes have completed the Advance Class. Many continue their education not only committing to the additional advance classes but by participating in Study Groups, advanced workshops offered at national and regional conventions. MBS continues to bring in some of the best instructors and artist in bonsai. Learn advanced skills and techniques such as carving, bending branches, grafting, and treating deadwood. These skills are also associated with workshops so check the workshops page for other educational opportunities.