Ryan Neil


Ryan’s career in bonsai began long before he made the commitment to a life with little trees. Born and raised in Colorado, Ryan spent his youth amidst the fantastic array of tortured and stunted trees that give the Rocky Mountains their splendid character. It wasn’t until Ryan was in high school that he found bonsai, but his passion for the art grew and led him to California. It was there he obtained an education in horticulture and met Mr. Ben Oki, who proved to be the catalyst for organizing Ryan’s apprenticeship with world renowned master Mr. Masahiko Kimura.

After six years in Japan as a bonsai apprentice, Ryan is now a bonsai professional pursuing excellence in the art throughout the United States and abroad. His travels have taken him as far as Europe and Asia. However, Ryan quickly contests that his most ambitious endeavors remain within the United States. 

The Western world has yet to realize its full potential in the art of bonsai. Through the coordinated efforts of respected professionals, dedicated enthusiasts, and like-minded groups and organizations, Ryan hopes to achieve a bonsai community capable of self sufficiency. Only then will western bonsai truly be able to represent itself and give voice to the amazing species and trees which characterize this culture.

Ryan will open the Rendezvous with a full day Colorado Blue Spruce workshop on Friday.  On Saturday morning he will lead an hour-long discussion of displays within the Bonsai Exhibit, then move to the stage for a demonstration featuring one of his own trees, a magnificent Yamadori Rocky Mt. Juniper.  This tree has been in training for several years, and the demonstration will deal with refinement techniques. Saturday afternoon Ryan will lead a workshop on hand-selected Juniper procumbens.  On Sunday morning, he will share the stage with the other headliners for a Super Critique of Exhibit trees. Ryan will close the Rendezvous with a workshop of twisted Shimpaku juniper on Sunday afternoon.