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Tree Amigos Columbus Bonsai Society provides a social outlet to practice the art of bonsai By Emily Hetterscheidt


16 | July 2017

The Columbus Bonsai Society's annual show is slated for July 15 and 16 at Franklin Park Conservatory.

Emily Hetterscheidt is a contributing writer. Feedback welcome at


R E L AT E D R E A D I N G ➜ Japanese culture in Dublin ➜ Hidaka USA’s cherry blossom trees ➜ Local Japanese restaurants

Photos courtesy of Columbus Bonsai Society

Japanese culture, Columbus has the perfect fix. For 45 years, the Columbus Bonsai Society has acted as an educational resource and a social club for those interested in the art of bonsai. Mark Passerrello, president of the society, says it is better to learn any trade from a skilled practitioner than from a book or the Internet, and the society provides a means to do that. “The Columbus Bonsai Society is an educational and social organization, devoted to spreading knowledge of the hobby, providing instructional resources for members and the general public, and providing friendly fellowship of bonsai growers of all skill levels and experience,” Passerrello says. Bonsai, at its most basic level, is the art of growing miniature trees in a container, but it can be much more complicated than that. The practice relies on a combination of art, craft and science. The group’s monthly meetings include a variety of workshops and offer information and resources for newcomers to the world of bonsai. The group also hosts demonstrations from visiting bonsai masters. While meetings are open to everyone, a membership in the society provides access to more resources and events. Passerrello became interested in bonsai almost 30 years ago. He had a broader interest in plants and gardening, as well as an interest in Japanese culture, and he combined the two to develop his passion for bonsai. “I began, as most people do, with a few plants recommended for beginners and a few books,” Passerrello says. “I have reached a point where I kill far fewer plants than I used to do, and teach classes and lead workshops that students say are helpful and interesting.” The group has about 60 members and holds meetings on the third Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. All events and meetings are open to the public and take place at the Franklin Park Conservatory or at Oakland Nursery locations. The group also holds an annual show at Franklin Park Conservatory, which this year is slated for July 15 and 16. CS

CityScene Magazine July 2017  
CityScene Magazine July 2017