Bonsai Society of Portland to share secrets of this ancient art from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at 5440 S.E. Kellogg Creek Drive

Over 300 members of the Bonsai Society of Portland are sharing the secrets of this ancient art from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Milwaukie Center, 5440 S.E. Kellogg Creek Drive.

PHOTO BY: ELLEN SPITALERI - Steve Leaming, vice president of the Bonsai Society of Portland, works on his cascade-style juniper tree, during a workshop last year at the Milwaukie Center.The club, celebrating its fourth-annual fall bonsai show, will present exhibits, demonstrations and a full bonsai marketplace designed to educate the public about the aesthetics and techniques of this ancient but fast-growing and evolving art form.

Bonsai on display will represent a wide range of plant varieties and styles, many of which are indigenous to the Pacific Northwest. Oregon's favorable climate supports a large diversity of tree types.

"This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in gardening in a limited space," said club member Ron Cascisa. "Come walk through the forests of bonsai and bring a bit of Mother Nature home with you to display."

Bonsai Society members will be available to answer questions, talk about their trees, share opinions and recommendations. Beginners are encouraged to attend live demonstrations throughout the event. Visitors can learn the basics of bonsai or more advanced techniques.

Marketplace items will include mature bonsai, early-stage trees and everything in between. Prices will reflect tree quality, from inexpensive starters to show-quality trees. Pots, tools, books and related items also will be available.

Bonsai enthusiasts are as varied as the bonsai they create. Club membership includes students, physicists, potters, arborists, writers and chefs. Ongoing beginner's mentorship meetings provide hands-on training each month for members. Tools, supplies and education are provided.

"Since bonsai often outlive their owners, the group's educational mission is essential to ensuring that these gifts of beauty and nature live on for future generations to enjoy," Cascisa said. "We teach members not only how to keep trees alive, but how to continuously develop them for the future."

The Oct. 21 event is open to the public; $2 per adult or $5 per family. All ages will find opportunities to learn the basics of design and care. Activities for children will be provided.

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