Adult Opportunities

Trident Maple Bonsai Workshop

In this bonsai class learn to style and wire a tree.

Content Detail

Trident maples (Acer buergerianum) make excellent bonsai due to their small, three-lobed leaves. The tree has thick gnarly roots and a readily thickening trunk. In the fall the leaves turn from green to very attractive shades of red, orange, and yellow. The trees for this workshop are in ceramic pots and are about 12 inches tall. The focus of this workshop will be on the initial styling and wiring of the tree. Care instructions will be included. All skill levels are welcome.

This program meets in person at the Arboretum.

Instructor: Phil Malhiot

Age: 16 and older

Course number: V115

Phil Malhiot

Phil Malhiot’s fascination with bonsai began more than 40 years ago when he opened a friend’s refrigerator and saw a tiny tree on the shelf.  In his initial attempts, he lost all but one of his fledgling trees in the harsh Midwestern winter. After that loss, he started taking workshops and lessons to learn how to better care for his trees. In 1986 he visited the Midwest Bonsai Society show at the Chicago Botanic Garden for the first time. That inspired him to pursue this practice in more depth, and he went onto win Midwest’s Best in Show for an elm forest planting 20 years later. He has been an active member of the Prairie State Bonsai Society where he has served as a board member and president. He has taught many students throughout the region, demonstrated the art of bonsai throughout the Midwest, and judged a variety of exhibitions and shows, including the Midwest Bonsai Society show at the Chicago Botanic Garden, Milwaukee Bonsai Society, and others. Among his many awards is the American Bonsai Society’s Award of Merit for Yamadori, Best in Show at the Midwest Bonsai Society show in 2006, and the Best in Show and People’s Choice at two Prairie State Bonsai Society shows.

What to Know

Supplies: Price includes materials.

Students are asked to bring in the  tools they have on hand. Extra tools will be provided by Prairie State Bonsai Society.

Material selection is by lottery drawing.

Program Schedule

Sunday, August 6, 2023, noon to 3:00 p.m.

Thornhill Education Center


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