About Us

The Virginia Bonsai Society started in May, 1975. Our focus is to advance the appreciation of, inspire interest in, and educate about the art of bonsai.

We are an inclusive community of bonsai practitioners representing every skill level.  We focus on education, bonsai cultivation, and advancing interest in bonsai and related arts. Anyone is welcome to visit.

What we do

We can help you succeed in cultivating a wide range of bonsai in our Virginia climate (everything from native conifers to flowering tropical trees). Our members have been teaching bonsai and developing private collections for more than 30 years, and are ready to help you along your journey.

Why Join us?

The benefits of membership in the Virginia Bonsai Society include:

  • Monthly meetings, where members meet to share their interest in and knowledge of Bonsai.  Open to the public.

  • Seminars and Workshops. VBS or its members offer Bonsai seminars and workshops where members get the opportunity to learn about Bonsai and increase their Bonsai skills and Knowledge.

  • Bonsai Shows. Members are encouraged to participate in Bonsai shows.


  • Monthly classes, where experienced local practitioners work with members on special projects.  Members only.

Bonsai Styles

For individual trees

Chokkan or formal upright – This tree has a strong vertical trunk and the branches usually form a symmetrical triangle

Moyogi or informal upright – This tree, while being basically upright will  have some curves in the trunk or may have a slight slant.  However, the top of the tree will be right over the base.  The branches normally will form the outline of an asymmetrical triangle

Shakan or slant style – This tree has a fairly severe slant and the top, or apex, is not over the base.  The branches form the outline of an asymmetrical triangle.

Han-Kengai of semi cascade – This tree usually starts on a slant with the foliage  then growing downward, but not below the soil surface.

Kengai or cascade – The trunk and the branches of this style tree cascade down below the surface of the pot and often considerably below the bottom of the pot as well.

For multiple trunks & group plantings

Sokan or twin trunk – This style has two trunks of different thickness and height growing out of one root.  There can also be two individual trees rather than just the one root.  These trunks are often referred to as father and son or husband and wife.  It is the only bonsai style that has an even number of trees.  One tree or trunk is always slightly in front of the other.

Sankan or triple trunk – This style has three trunks growing out of one root (father, mother, and son).  There can also be three individual trees.  Again, the trunks or trees are never in a straight line across the pot.

Korabuki or stump style – In this style, there are several trunks growing from one root.

Kabubuki, Kabudachi or clump style – This style has a cluster of single trunks grown closely together.

Ikada or raft style – This style is formed from a trunk being buried  horizontally in the soil with upward growing branches being trained to  have the look of individual trees.

Netsuranari or raft from a root, or sinuous style – Like the Ikada raft style  except that the trees come from a single root lying horizontally  throughout the pot.

Yose-ue or multi tree or group planting – This style uses several trees of  differing thickness and height planted so as to give the impression of a grove or forest.

For single trees or groups

Hokidachi or broom style – This style has an upright trunk with fanned branches.

Fukinagashi or windswept style – The trunk or trunks are slanted or bent over with  branches growing only in one direction as if pushed by the wind.

Bunjin or literati style – This is an abstract or freestyle design

Ishitsuli or rock clinging style – This style has the tree growing on or around a rock with its roots tightly grasping or imbedded in the stone.

Join the Virginia Bonsai Society

Anyone interested in Bonsai is welcome to join the Virginia Bonsai Society.

Membership dues are $36.00 per year for individuals or $54.00 for families. 

Reach Us


Monthly meetings are held at Greenbriar Church, 1101 Volvo Parkway, Chesapeake, 23320




Most months, we meet on the first SATURDAYS at 9:30:am, but please refer to our Calendar

Get In Touch