Public Bonsai Collections

Below is a list of significan public bonsai collections we are aware of. If you know of any others, please fill out the form at the bottom of the page. 


GSBF currently maintains three Bonsai Collections. One in Northern California at the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt and one in Southern California at the Huntington Botanical Gardens and one located at the Shinzen Japanese Friendship Garden in Fresno, CA.

Oakland, CA
Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt


GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt opened its gate to the public in 1999, after many years of planning, fund raising and volunteers working to build a garden to put on permanent display historical and legacy bonsai. The GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt is the home to some of the finest bonsai in the US. The BGLM, located at Oakland’s Lakeside Park, is the only major all-volunteer bonsai garden in the country and houses some of the most important bonsai in the US. Built, staffed and maintained by volunteers from throughout the greater San Francisco/Bay Area, and supported entirely by donations from our visitors and the bonsai community.

San Marino, CA

Huntington Botanical gardens


In a joint effort to build a world-class bonsai collection for the public in Southern California, the Golden State Bonsai Federation and the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens established the GSBF Collection at the Huntington in 1993. Today,
the growing collection features bonsai masterpieces and viewing stones from noted artists throughout the region.


For more information regarding costs and days open see their website.

Fresno, CA
Clark Center Bonsai Collection

The bonsai garden officially opened its doors with a grand opening celebration on October 17 & 18, 2015, at the Shinzen Friendship Garden in Woodward Park, Fresno, California. The bonsai collection is a partnership dedicated to the preservation and advancement of bonsai in the Central Valley. Discover a living art display with over 100 museum quality bonsai, offering stunning rotating seasonal displays. Docent tours available. Visit the Shinzen Garden – Experience a serene and beautiful North American Japanese Garden.


Denver, CO

Denver Botanic Gardens


York Street presents a wide range of gardens and collections that illustrate an ever-widening diversity of plants from all corners of the world. Distinctive gardens define and celebrate a Western identity and a unique high altitude climate and geography.

District of Columbia

The National Bonsai and Penjing Museum


The National Bonsai & Penjing Museum is located on the grounds of the U.S. National Arboretum.

The story begins with plants — plants are the heart of an arboretum. The American Bicentennial Celebration of Independence in 1976 provoked an international shower of gifts on the citizens of the United States. But the people of Japan gave something unique to their culture and a living tribute to peace between the two countries. Fifty-three bonsai trees from the Nippon Bonsai Association were formally presented to the U. S. National Arboretum in July of 1976. This was the auspicious beginning of the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum.


Ft. Pierce, FL

Heathcote Botanical Gardens

Heathcote Botanical Gardens consists of an assortment of specialty gardens including a Japanese Garden, Reflection Garden, Herb Garden, Rainforest Display, Native Plants Garden and a Palm & Cycad Walk. These areas convey an atmosphere of individual garden rooms. Through this type of garden design, you will sense the intimacy of this unique botanical garden. Gracing the areas in between these specialty gardens are borders of flowering shrubs, bulbs, trees, vines and other assorted herbaceous plants. Niches found throughout the garden provide varied microclimates, which allows the use of a wide variety of plants ranging from those found in Mediterranean climates to the Tropics.

The James J. Smith Bonsai Gallery featuring 100 bonsai trees on permanent display.


Kennesaw, GA


Smith-Gilbert Gardens


Open to the public, Smith-Gilbert Gardens is 16 acres of serene setting with over 3,000 species of plants, several rare in American gardens. United by woodland paths, the Gardens consist of separate groupings with individual elements of fascination. These include the Bonsai Exhibit, Palladino Camellia Garden, tea house and waterfall area, Rose Garden, and Conifer Display.


Chicago, IL

Chicago Botanic Garden


The Chicago Botanic Garden’s collection of nearly 285 bonsai includes gifts from Japanese bonsai master Susumu Nakamura. On rotating display, each bonsai takes the stage at the peak of its beauty. The select 32-40 bonsai are on display in the Regenstein Center’s two courtyards from roughly April 15 to October 31, depending on the weather.

Lisle, IL

The Morton Arboretum


When Joy Morton established The Morton Arboretum in 1922, he envisioned a “great outdoor museum” of trees. Today, our living collections inspire visitors to appreciate, learn about, plant, and protect trees. The Arboretum champions the world’s trees through scientific study, conservation, education, and outreach.

The Morton Arboretum’s 1,700 acres hold more than 222,000 live plants representing nearly 4,300 taxa from around the world. Situated on the rolling Valparaiso moraine and bisected by the East Branch of the DuPage River, the Arboretum is planned and planted to nurture and display trees and shrubs in environments conducive to their growth.


Des Moines, IA


Greater Desmoines Botanical Gardens


The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, where exploring, explaining and celebrating the world of plants is our mission. Tropical and temperate gardens make us an oasis in the heart of downtown Des Moines. Whether you visit on your own or explore with a group, you will find the Botanical Garden a place where you can learn about fascinating plants, hone your gardening skills or immerse yourself in beautiful gardens.


Boston, MA

Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University


The Larz Anderson Collection of Japanese Dwarfed Trees at the Arnold Arboretum was originally imported into the United States by the Honorable Larz Anderson in 1913, upon his return from serving as ambassador to Japan. The core of the collection consists of seven large specimens of compact hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Chabo-hiba’)—each between 150 and 275 years old—that Anderson purchased from the Yokohama Nursery Company and later donated to the Arboretum. All told, thirty-five masterfully curated specimens comprise the bonsai collection. In much of Japan and milder parts of the United States, bonsai can be left outdoors all winter with only minimal protection from the elements.


The Arnold Arboretum’s 281-acre landscape is open from sunrise to sunset every day of the year.


Ann Arbor, MI

Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum


The University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum manages over 700 acres of gardens, research areas, and natural preserves around the Ann Arbor area with a complex of conservatory, greenhouses, laboratory, teaching and meeting spaces at Matthaei Botanical Gardens and the James D. Reader, Jr. Center for Urban Environmental Education at Nichols Arboretumtum. MBGNA is a center for rich and diverse nature-based experiences for students, faculty, and the public.

Grand Rapids, MI

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park opened in April 1995 after 13 years of planning and fundraising. The original vision has turned into a top cultural destination in the Midwest region, known internationally for the quality of the art and gardens.

Meijer Gardens’ dream and commitment is to create a legacy of lifelong learning, enjoyment and a rich cultural experience for generations to come. Meijer Gardens promotes the enjoyment, understanding and appreciation of gardens, sculpture, the natural environment and the arts.

Tipton, MI

Michigan State University Hidden Lake Gardens


Hidden Lake Gardens is owned and operated by Michigan State University under the division of Land Management, but supported through admission fees, endowments, gifts and the “Friends of Hidden Lake Gardens” membership program. The Gardens is open 362 days of the year with an admission fee of $3 per person. Guided tours, requested at least two weeks in advance, are available for $3 per person. In addition to more than 6 miles of one-way paved drives, there are nearly 10 miles of hiking trails to allow the visitor a closer look at the beauty the Gardens provides.

North Carolina

Asheville, NC

The North Carolina Arboretum


The fulfillment of the dream of Frederick Law Olmsted and located just minutes from downtown Asheville, The North Carolina Arboretum is a 434-acre public garden that offers a wealth of activities for families and kids of all ages. Our Asheville gardens feature one of the most renowned bonsai collections in the country, as well as a diversity of flower and botanical exhibits all year round.


Cincinnati, OH

Krohn Conservatory


Krohn Conservatory was built in 1933 at the height of the Art Deco era. It’s what’s inside those aluminum and glass walls that make Krohn Conservatory truly special.


You’d have to travel a good distance from Cincinnati to visit a rainforest or a desert – or come to Krohn Conservatory, Cincinnati Parks’ nationally recognized showcase of more than 3,500 plant species from around the world.

Newark, OH

The Dawes Arboretum


The Dawes Arboretum is dedicated to increasing the love and knowledge of trees, history and the natural world. Founded in 1929 by Beman and Bertie Dawes, The Arboretum was inspired by the couple’s love of trees and nature. Today we remain dedicated to our mission through providing exceptional educational programs and events as well as maintaining incredible horticulture collections on over 1,800 acres of beautiful grounds.


Pittsburgh, PA

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens


The botanical gardens feature lush tropical plants, palms, orchids, ferns and desert plants, as well as many special flower shows, exhibits and butterflies. Outdoor gardens and collections include the children’s Discovery Garden, Japanese Courtyard Garden, bonsai, butterflies, perennials, annuals, herbs and aquatics.


Bremerton, WA

Elandan Gardens Ltd


The six-acre site, located on the shores of Puget Sound, was an abandoned, bramble-covered landfill from the 1930s that was never developed past its refuse origins. After three years of dreaming, planning and applying for permits, the Robinsons were finally granted permission to create Elandan Gardens.


This dramatic setting is now home to much of Dan Robinson’s world-renowned bonsai collection. The majority of the trees in the collection were collected from wild places and each exhibits a design induced by hundreds of years of nature’s ceaseless whimsy. One of the oldest trees in the collection is a Rocky Mountain Juniper approaching 1500 years. As dazzling as the ancient trees are, sprinkled into the mix of the landscape specimens and bonsais are highly stylized Japanese Black Pines that Dan grew from seed.

Federal Way, WA

Pacific Bonsai Museum


Nestled amidst towering conifers, Pacific Bonsai Museum connects people to nature through the living art of bonsai.


One of only two museums in the United States solely dedicated to bonsai, and one of only a handful of bonsai museums worldwide, Pacific Bonsai Museum maintains a collection of 150 bonsai that are among the finest examples of bonsai anywhere in the world. The collection is also the most geographically diverse bonsai collection in the United States, with trees from Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and the United States.


A grand outdoor setting with the elegance of a fine art museum, Pacific Bonsai Museum features sixty trees on exhibit at a given time, open to the public six days a week. This cultural gem offers contemporary and traditional bonsai exhibitions, group tours, education programs, field trips, and public events.

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