Bonsai at the Zoo

Pack your tool bag and a couple of trees, we’re going to the Detroit Zoo! As you know, the Zoo has asked us to put on a Bonsai Show and I think we have a great one planned. The one-day event will happen Saturday, July 27, and we need your help to make it happen. Beginning at 9am and closing at 5pm, we will have a bonsai exhibition, members working on trees, 2 workshops and Green Witch Gardens vending.



  Operated by the nonprofit Detroit Zoological Society, the Detroit Zoo is one of Michigan’s largest paid family attractions, hosting 1.3 million guests annually. More than 2,000 animals of more than 200 species call the Zoo’s 125 acres home. The Zoo has recently rebranded (logo above) with the tagline “Where Life Connects.” All of our activities will take place in and around the Wildlife Interpretive Gallery (WIG). The WIG (above, right) is home of the Butterfly Garden, a very popular attraction at the Zoo.



Our trees will be on display in the Science On a Sphere Room. The Sphere rotates and is constantly changing images, linked to NOAA’s Science On a Sphere® (SOS) a room-sized, global display system that projects visualizations of planetary data onto a six-foot diameter sphere to help illustrate Earth System science to people of all ages. The sphere is available for us to display information on.

We plan on bringing the club table coverings and using the Zoo’s tables. There will be room for about 25 trees to display. There are doors off the main lobby and doors leading directly outside to our tented area.

Peter Molesa is coordinating the exhibition. Trees need to be check in by 8:30am. See how you can participate in Bonsai at the Zoo below.




A 30’ x 40’ tent will be placed adjacent to our exhibition area, very visible to people entering the Zoo’s Main Entrance. We are considering purchasing reusable banner reading BONSAI SHOW TODAY which we will use for the club show a couple weeks later. Hopefully we can have styling, pruning, wiring and repotting taking place.



Kurt Smith was able to get a special deal on 50 portulacaria elephant bush already in bonsai soil and in pots. We will have two workshops, one a 11:00am, the other at 1:00. Kurt and Lita will give a presentation before participants pick up their bonsai and take to one of our members for some minor styling. Workshop fee: $15.00. A sticker is also planned.

Don Masserang is preparing a handout on the Care of Portulacaria and the club’s contact information.



We cannot do a show without our favorite vendor. Michigan’s Largest Bonsai Nursery will be there.



Mark Hanner is reaching out to all of the clubs in Michigan and all institutions that have permanent bonsai displays. They will be encouraged to send us any handouts and contact information that we can display and share with attendees.



Sign up on our website. There are 3 ways you help make this show a success: bring a tree, do some work on one of your other trees, or be a docent. We are limited to 25 trees. Submission Form Here