Fundamentals with Julian Tsai

– 2024 REGISTRATION Closed – 

We are pleased to announce that Julian Tsai has agreed to teach our next Fundamentals group. Julian is a bonsai professional from Southern California. He spent two years apprenticing at Fujikawa Kouka-en, in Osaka, before Covid and other factors shortened his stay. He has spent considerable amount of time with Peter Tea, honing his techniques and developmental skills. He is passionate about creating and developing bonsai that will be generational. He currently has three groups he works with regularly as well as private clients. Learn more about Julian on his website:

What is Fundamentals?

The Fundamentals series is a continuous learning program designed to teach you foundational bonsai skills, which you will build and expand upon, through guided practice, in a learning environment. Unlike styling workshops, this unique experience offers MBS members the exclusive ability to study with a bonsai professional without the expense of traveling to the teacher’s studio.

Each session begins with classroom instruction that will focus on appropriate seasonal work to understand proper techniques, their application and expected outcomes. Following the classroom instruction, you will practice the techniques with Julian’s guidance. Between class sessions, you will care for your trees, observe your results, and return with them to the next session to continue the developmental process.

2024 marks the launch of the third series of the Fundamentals program that will provide you the information to substantially improve your trees, your overall bonsai knowledge, and your skill level. Each subsequent session will reinforce and expand the learning you have acquired in the previous session. Committing to at least two years of learning in this program offers you an opportunity to work with a highly skilled professional on a one-to-one basis as well as gaining precious knowledge to help you expand your own abilities.

There are two levels of participation in the program: a full working position allows you to be one of five individuals to work with Julian on one day of each weekend and observe the other, or an as observer, where you watch and learn from Julian’s discussions and procedures performed on each of the working members trees.

2024 schedule and fees

When: Julian will visit twice in 2024, April 13 & 14 and November 9 & 10. There will be a mid-year class without Julian as well.
Time: 10am-6pm
Where: Washington County Fair Grounds, Hooley Hall (12300 40th St N, Stillwater, MN 55082)
Working position fee- $325.00 (plus cost of trees)
Observer position fee-$150.00

Registration opening March 1, 2024

We will focus on both deciduous and coniferous tree. All of you will work on a Trident Maple and a shimpaku juniper sourced from reputable growers. The two trees are chosen because they are quickly growing and can demonstrate the practices you can apply to the rest of your collection. With everyone working on the same trees, at the same level of development, you get to see the individual progress of each tree and how each procedure impacts its evolution. There is an additional cost for the trees. The final costs are yet to be determined, but estimates are about $300.00 for both, including shipping. If you have either of these two trees in your collection and would like to use it for the class, please contact me ( for pre-approval, or if you have any further questions.

This is an original program, not regularly offered and we expect it to sell out quickly, so don’t delay in signing up.

See you in April!