AE21 Bonsai at The North Carolina Arboretum: More Than Meets the Eye [May 27]


Bonsai at The North Carolina Arboretum: More Than Meets the Eye

Program 5: "Inside Appalachian Cove"


Arthur Joura, Arboretum Bonsai Curator


ONLINE* Thursday, May 27; 4 to 5 p.m.

Remaining Program in the series: June 24


Package of five sessions: $25 Member | $50 Non-member*

*Series is still available, including links to videos for all previous programs


Per session: $5 Member | $10 Non-member

To register by session, click "Show individual events" below.



Bonsai is a much favored feature of the Arboretum's identity, and not without reason. Visitors to the Bonsai Exhibition Garden marvel at the miniature trees and landscapes on display. The small scale of bonsai is certainly a key ingredient in the attention they attract, but at the Arboretum there is another, less obvious, element of interest, and it is hiding in plain sight. 

Bonsai Curator Arthur Joura presents an in-depth look at bonsai at The North Carolina Arboretum in this series of monthly online talks for Adult Education Programs. As always, we can expect Joura’s views on the subject to be thought provoking and beautifully illustrated with his own photographs.

If one planting in our collection had to be selected to represent the uniqueness of the Arboretum's bonsai program, the large landscape titled "Appalachian Cove" would be an excellent choice. The planting was composed in early 2005 and unveiled to the public for the first time during the debut of the Bonsai Exhibition Garden in October that same year. It features most of the qualities that make bonsai at the Arboretum stand out: It's a "homegrown" piece, a tray landscape comprised entirely of native plants, done in a naturalistic style, and representing the Southern Appalachian environment. The container in which it is planted, made of American Chestnut wood, is a story unto itself.
All bonsai eventually need repotting, and enormous, complex tray landscapes are no exception. How is it done? This program, in addition to telling the story behind the planting and its one-of-a-kind container, will demonstrate the tricky transplanting process. There are many other public bonsai collections in the United States, but only one features the "Appalachian Cove." This is a story that can't be told anywhere but here.

*Instructions for joining via Zoom will be sent by email the day prior to the class. 

Please add to your contacts to ensure our emails do not end up in your spam folder. A recording of each session will be made available to registered participants for a limited period to provide access to those with scheduling conflicts.


Arthur Joura has been the Bonsai Curator at The North Carolina Arboretum, in Asheville, N.C., since the inception of the bonsai program in 1992. Joura has studied bonsai with some of the leading bonsai authorities in the United States, and was received as an official student to the Nippon Bonsai Association in Japan. He has taught extensively in the eastern U.S. and has been featured in numerous publications for his work with the Arboretum’s bonsai collection. In his curation of the Arboretum’s bonsai program, Joura constantly seeks to forge connections between the art of bonsai and the Arboretum’s mission to promote appreciation of the flora and culture of the Southern Appalachians.


Arboretum Members: Please sign in above in the top right-hand corner before adding classes to your shopping cart. Your member discount will be applied on the checkout pageClick here for membership discount instructions. To become an Arboretum Member and receive discounts on all classes, go to our Membership page. 

Additional donations are always welcome and appreciated. Proceeds from donations go to support education at the North Carolina Arboretum.

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