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  • Writer's pictureSABA

David De Groot to headline at ABC6

Picture from Puget Sound Bonsai Association

Dave is a bonsai expert from Washington State, with a rich background in the art of bonsai. He spent years as the curator of Weyerhaeuser Company’s Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection located in Seattle, where he was responsible for managing the facility, tending to over 120 trees, and operating an educational program that included numerous lectures and exhibits annually.


Dave's passion for bonsai began in 1969 when he attended a bonsai exhibit at the Mitchell Park Conservatory in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His interest in the art of bonsai continued to grow, and in 1972, after moving to New Orleans, he received his first "real" bonsai as a Christmas present from his wife. Dave was lucky enough to find a community of bonsai enthusiasts led by artist Vaughn Banting, and the Greater New Orleans Bonsai Society was formed. Dave's involvement in this society, combined with visits from bonsai artists such as Chase Rosade, Yuji Yoshimura, Ben Oki, and John Naka, provided him with a solid foundation in traditional bonsai aesthetics and approach.


Dave's extensive experience in bonsai includes work with Weyerhaeuser Company tree physiologists and pathologists, as well as study in Japan, which enhanced his practical experience in both the horticultural and artistic aspects of bonsai. Dave holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory in Boston. Before embarking on his journey as a bonsai designer and consultant, he served as a percussionist for 15 years with the New Orleans Symphony and taught music at Xavier University and Loyola University (New Orleans).

D de Groot -Principles of Bonsai Design

Dave's contributions to the bonsai community are many. He served as newsletter editor and president of the Greater New Orleans Bonsai Society, authored dozens of articles on bonsai published in eight countries, and lectured throughout the United States and abroad in Brazil, Canada, England, and Venezuela. In 1982, he received Bonsai Clubs International’s “Outstanding Writer, Artist and Photographer” award, and in 1989 he was appointed Curator of the Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection. He was a director of the American Bonsai Society for two terms, and in 1995, he received a commendation for his contributions to the “ABS Journal” and published his book Basic Bonsai Design, which is now in its seventh printing. Dave also received the Rosade Bonsai Studio’s “Excellence in Design” award for a bald cypress displayed at IBC 99 in Portland, Oregon.

D De Groot Bald Cypress - Picture from the Pacific Bonsai Museum

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