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Maple Pruning Workshop with Sada Uchiyama and Mark Bourne

Sadafumi (Sada) Uchiyama conversing with guests with maple trees.
2023 Maple Pruning Workshop. Photo by Jonathan Ley.

Few aspects of the traditional Japanese garden are as instantly recognizable as the elegant, distinctive contours of a well-maintained Japanese maple. This year’s Maple Pruning Workshop will be conducted by Sadafumi (Sada) Uchiyama, Curator Emeritus of Portland Japanese Garden, and Mark Bourne, a Japanese-trained master garden creator based in Seattle. With the Garden as the classroom, participants will receive a maple-focused tour, learn the fundamentals of maple pruning through a lecture, and be able to put their pruning methods and techniques to the test under the guidance of Sada, Mark and a staff gardener.


Sadafumi (Sada) Uchiyama, Curator Emeritus, Portland Japanese Garden

Mark Bourne, Owner, Windsmith Design


  • Check-in 8:00-8:30 AM
  • Program Begins 9:00 AM
  • Program Ends 3:00 PM

Tickets are limited and offered to members through our lottery system to provide equal opportunity access to Garden workshops. Lottery winners will be contacted to finalize a workshop ticket purchase.

Event tickets are non-transferrable and non-refundable.

More details:

  • The workshop is limited to 12 participants.
  • When entering your submission for the lottery, you will be asked to sign a waiver.
  • Participants should bring their own lunch, a reusable drinking cup or water bottle, gloves that fit well with your hands and of course, sun protection such as a hat and/or sunscreen.
  • Please also bring a sanitized pruner. If you don’t have one, we will have some to loan, or you can purchase one from our Gift Shop (don’t forget that members receive a 10% discount).
  • Educational material will be provided.

Event fees are non-refundable and this event takes place rain or shine, so please dress appropriately for the weather.

Meet the Instructors: 

Sadafumi Uchiyama, Curator Emeritus, Portland Japanese Garden

Sadafumi (Sada) Uchiyama portrait in midst maple tree.Sadafumi (Sada) Uchiyama is Curator Emeritus of Portland Japanese Garden. Before his retirement, Uchiyama served as Chief Curator from 2021 to 2023. Uchiyama had served as Garden Curator of Portland Japanese Garden from 2008 to 2021, during which time he helped to create and integrate the Cultural Crossing Expansion Project. Uchiyama also served as a member on the Garden’s Board of Trustees from 2003 to 2007. He was also Director of Japan Institute’s International Japanese Garden Training Center.

A fourth-generation Japanese gardener from southern Japan, Uchiyama is devoted to fostering relations between Japanese gardens in Japan and those outside of Japan. He has been involved in the development of the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA) and serves as a Charter Member of its board and programming board.

In 2022, Uchiyama was awarded the Foreign Minister’s Commendation from Foreign Ministry of Japan, one of the highest honors bestowed by the Japanese government, given to those with outstanding achievements in international fields. In 2022 he was also honored by the Oregon Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, which hailed him as “an internationally recognized master artisan of the practice of landscape architecture.”

Uchiyama has taught landscape design courses and lectured on Japanese gardening at colleges and public gardens throughout the United States and Japan. His writings have been featured in Garden Design, Fine Gardening, Inspired House, Luxe Magazine, as well as professional journals in Japan.

He is a registered landscape architect with a BLA and MLA from the University of Illinois. His representative projects include renovations of the Osaka Garden; the site of the 1893 Great Columbian Exposition at Jackson Park in Chicago (from 2000 until present); and the Shofu-en of the Denver Botanic Gardens (2001 – 2012). Most recently, he completed the Shoun-Kei Japanese garden at Sarah Duke Gardens at Duke University (2015). At Portland Japanese Garden, Uchiyama worked closely with Kengo Kuma to create and integrate new garden spaces into the Cultural Crossing expansion. The two have continued to work together, collaborating on the new Rolex Headquarters in Dallas, Texas and other projects in the US.


Mark Bourne, Owner, Windsmith Design

Portrait of Mark Bourne in font of green foliage.Mark Bourne is a Japanese-trained master garden creator and a scholar of Japanese garden history. After completing a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Japanese, he traveled to Kyoto to study the craft of Japanese gardens, a move that turned into a full, four-year-long apprenticeship to renowned garden creator Yasuo Kitayama. Under Kitayama, Mark went through the same rigorous, multi-year discipline that has defined the Japanese tradition for centuries. This training included maintenance, restoration, and new work in many famous and historically significant gardens, including the Kyoto Imperial Palace, Katsura Imperial Villa, Kenninji, Kodaiji, Daitokuji, as well as significant new garden construction projects such as the Kyoto-Florence sister city garden in Florence, Italy, and the gardens for the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum in Kawaguchiko, Japan. In addition to design and construction training, Mark earned a master’s degree in architectural history, with a thesis based on translations of work related to the Meiji period garden Murin-an. As a teacher and a designer, Mark is particularly interested in the delicate balance between innovation and continuity that keeps the tradition relevant, without abandoning the rich history that provides the foundation for practice.