About Us



About Howard and Sylvia:

Howard got interested in bonsai shortly after completing medical school during his residency training in psychiatry. Sylvia, a respiratory therapist by trade, has always been interested in Japanese gardens and artwork and quickly caught the bonsai passion within months of dating Howard. Together, in 1996, they started BonsaiSmiths after spending many weekends on the road visiting bonsai nurseries and aquiring a large number trees. Since joining the Bonsai Society of Dallas, they have held every board position at least once with Sylvia again currently serving office as president. In 2002, Sylvia, as president of the Bonsai Society, had the pleasure of welcoming Masahiko Kimura to Dallas. The BonsaiSmiths continue to run the annual bonsai display at the Dallas Arboretum and are active in the club endeavors. Howard is the resident club auctioneer and has auctioned trees from Dallas all the way to the West Coast. Both Howard and Sylvia are the resident teachers for the Bonsai Society of Dallas and the Fort Worth Bonsai Society. Howard is Vice President of the state bonsai organization and serves as a director in the National Bonsai Foundation.

In 2001, after searching several years for a bonsai teacher, Howard and Sylvia began serious study with Boon Manakitivipart, and are his first and second intensive student graduates respectively. They continue to study with Boon several times a year and have traveled with him to Japan to study the fantastic Kokufu display. One or both Smiths have attended Boon’s club’s (Bay Island Bonsai) annual exhibit and have assisted with display set up for the past seven years.

Honors include trees placing in the top 100 in the World Bonsai Contest, Best Medium Conifer Display at the BIB exhibit in 2003, Best Conifer at the Lone Star Bonsai Federation Convention in 2007, including client trees, Howard and Sylvia displayed 7 trees plus a shohin display at the 1st Annual National Bonsai Exhibit in Rochester, New York in 2008, Best in Show in Fort Worth 2009 and Best Tree In Show at the Lone Star Bonsai Federation Convention in 2010, Best Deciduous, Best Conifer, Best Texas Native and Best in Show in the Lone Star Bonsai Federation in 2012, Best Conifer and Best in Show in the Lone Star Bonsai Federation in 2013.

The Bonsai Smiths are located in Dallas, Texas. We are available by appointment and hope to hear from you soon. Please call or email: