Lyman Whitaker Wind Sculpture Exhibit Extended through May 25, 2021

The Dawes Arboretum is pleased to announce that the Lyman Whitaker Wind Sculpture exhibit has been extended through May 25, 2021. “We are very happy to offer our members and visitors the opportunity to enjoy the sculptures during winter and spring,” said Luke Messinger, Executive Director. “Each season provides a new and stunning backdrop for […]

The Dawes Arboretum Year in Review

Even though this year has been interesting to say the least, the Dawes Arboretum staff is thankful for the visitors, community support and conservation advancements we were able to take part in for 2020.    The Dawes Arboretum’s 2020 by the Numbers:   We hosted 19 onsite programs and 35 virtual programs. We planted nearly […]

Winter Wonders Walk 2020

The Dawes Arboretum is excited to announce the third annual Winter Wonders Walk 2020! This year, the spectacular display of our grounds will take place on December 10th & 11th from 5:30 – 9:30 pm.  Winter Wonders Walk is an annual two day event sponsored by The Energy Cooperative and Park National Bank. Experience an […]

What to Do at The Dawes Arboretum in Winter

Are you looking for a safe family activity, a fun date or just a peaceful day to rest and relax this winter? We recommend visiting us at The Dawes Arboretum! The winter season at The Arboretum is full of wonder and excitement – view beloved summer locations and witness them in the stillness and serene […]

Enjoy a Free Visit to The Dawes Arboretum on November 11

In honor of Veterans Day, The Dawes Arboretum is offering free admission to all visitors on November 11, 2020. Explore the beautiful grounds and admire the changing of the seasons during this free day.  Reserve your ticket now at and use promo code VETERAN to receive free admission or call 740.323.2355. The Arboretum is […]

2020 Turkey Trail Challenge at The Dawes Arboretum

We can’t wait to see you on Friday November 27th for the second annual Turkey Trail Challenge at the Dawes Arboretum! A few things we want to share with you for this year’s challenge… Before the Turkey Trail Challenge You do NOT need to register in advance for this year’s challenge. Simply show up and […]

Wind Sculptures by Lyman Whitaker on Display at The Dawes Arboretum through December 15, 2020

See these inspirational works moving with the wind in The Arboretum’s beautiful, natural setting. Make your way down the paved Parkwoods Trail and take in their calming, peaceful presence. Lyman Whitaker is one of the most renowned kinetic artists in the world. He often takes inspiration for his designs from nature, whether hiking in the […]

Top 3 Instagrammable Backgrounds at The Dawes Arboretum

While The Dawes Arboretum is a breathtaking place any season, we do particularly shine during the Autumn months. If you are in the Columbus, Ohio area and are looking for the perfect picture for your personal Instagram photo, or are just looking for a beautiful view, here are our top three recommendations: Location #1: Parkwoods […]

Fall Planting Tips & Recommendations from the Dawes Arboretum

Did you know that the autumn season can actually be a great time of the year to add new plants to your landscape? To help get you started, here are a few key recommendations from the team at The Arboretum to help guide you through the fall planting season! A few of our favorite trees […]

2020 Dawes Arboretum Fall Plant Sale

Dates & Times We are excited to announce that our fall plant sale will be open to the public from September 7 at 5pm to September 11 at noon!   How to Purchase Plants You can purchase your plants via this link. The link will go live to the public on September 7, 2020. Purchase […]

Dawgs at Dawes

At The Dawes Arboretum, we celebrate the opportunity to connect with our community members and the furry friends that love to join those community members on outdoor adventures! Did you know that it is recommended your dog receives at least one hour of exercise per day? While there are some variables depending on your dog’s […]

Scarecrows at The Dawes Arbroetum

Looking for a fun outdoor activity for the whole family this fall near Columbus, Ohio! Come visit The Dawes Arboretum and view our scarecrow display throughout the month of October! This year, we know that finding safe and fun family activities is more important than ever. At The Arboretum, you can safely view all of […]

New Visitor Guidelines

Beginning Monday, June 1, 2020, The Dawes Arboretum will be open daily from 9 am to 7pm. Those who are planning to visit, need to purchase admissions tickets on The Arboretum’s website prior their arrival. While visiting The Arboretum, guests need to follow the steps listed below to help protect themselves, fellow Arboretum visitors and […]

Butterflies at Dawes Arboretum

There are many different types of wildlife you may spot during your visit to The Dawes Arboretum. One of our favorites from Spring to Fall is butterflies! With our wide variety of plants and ecosystems, we normally get to say hello to various species of butterflies including Pearl Crescents, Clouded Sulphurs, Monarchs, Viceroys, Commas, Cabbage […]

The Dawes Arboretum

Effective March 28, 2020 at 7pm, The Dawes Arboretum will be closed to visitors until further notice.

Buy a Daily Admission Ticket!

Buy your ticket online for a quick scan at the Gatehouse! Click here to buy your ticket! Important things to note when buying your ticket online: Once you have purchased your ticket, you will receive two emails at the email address you provided during purchase. The first will be your receipt for the credit card […]

Purchasing or Renewing Your Arboretum Membership

Even though our Visitor Center is closed, you can still purchase or renew your Dawes Arboretum membership online. Purchase a membership here!   Please call 740.323.2355 with any questions.

Land Conservation Behind-The-Scenes

By Holly Latteman, Conservation Project Manager Greetings from the Land Conservation Department! Ever wonder what goes on in the Horticulture building? Keep reading for a behind the scenes view of our department! Recently, our newest Environmental Professional Residents began working alongside staff members, learning valuable skills in the field of conservation and completing independent projects […]

Creature Comforts

By Holly Latteman, Conservation Project Manager As temperatures start to fall, we pull out our winter jackets, gloves and scarves to participate in outdoor activities. However, how do the animals of The Arboretum stay warm? If you have been enjoying The Arboretum grounds recently and spotted a bird with a scarf, please let me know! […]

Bringing Birds to the Table

By Holly Latteman, Conservation Project Manager Thanksgiving is a holiday filled to the brim with great food and company, but what about our feathered friends? While we are filling our bellies with cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, consider placing a bird feeder in your yard. A variety of different bird feeders are on the market […]

Reforestation at The Dawes Arboretum

By Jessie Dickson, Environmental Professional Resident As we slowly approach fall, many may be walking The Arboretum admiring the transformation from a green oasis to a palette of deep reds and orange hues with pops of yellow–the ideal location to watch summer wave goodbye. You may notice when driving by our grounds or visiting the […]

Why Is Our Grass So Long?

By Peter Lowe, Director of Landscape Operations Why is your grass so long? This question surfaces often in landscapes and gardens that put high value on conservation. While to the untrained eye, these areas may seem forgotten, unmanaged, unmaintained and downright unruly, a deeper inspection reveals these areas have been identified for their ecological and […]

River Round Up Recap

By Jessie Dickson, Environmental Professional Resident Have you ever wondered how much of an impact your actions can have on the planet? I know many, including myself, are often so worried about whether our small daily actions to help to environment are truly making a difference. I want to write this blog as not only […]

Daily Adventures at The Dawes Arboretum

By Mari Ann Moore, Marketing Associate The Dawes Arboretum spans nearly 2,000 acres, leaving plenty to do and to see on all of your visits. However, this summer there are additional opportunities to engage with The Arboretum! Join a guided walking tour daily at 10am to explore various portions of The Arboretum. These tours last […]

Why Prescribed Burns Benefit Native Ecosystems

This post was previously published on our blog on January 30, 2018. by Shana Byrd, Director of Land Conservation at The Dawes Arboretum & Ohio Certified Prescribed Fire Manager Historically, fire has been a natural feature of the landscape, helping to shape plant communities, promote diversity and favor the unique species that depend on fire […]

Creating a Savanna Habitat Takes Time and Imagination

By Shana Byrd, Director of Land Conservation Can you imagine gently flowing grasslands as far as the eye could see? Many years ago, this was indeed the dominant ecosystem of much of the Midwest, with prairie grasslands covering 150 million of acres.  This massive ecosystem was formed by the retreat of glaciers, creating ideal soil […]

Entrance Improvement Update

Our main entrance has reopened! Be sure to use our main entrance off of State Route 13 on your next visit to The Arboretum.

Calling All Monarch Enthusiasts!

By Livia Raulinaitis, Conservation Research Technician The time has come again for The Dawes Arboretum to participate in the annual Monarch Watch initiative! Now through mid-October, staff and volunteers will be rearing and tagging Monarch Butterflies in preparation for their great migration to Mexico. We invite you to become involved in this effort by bringing […]

From the Archives – Bertie’s Hats

By Sarah Aisenbrey, Archivist Did you know that The Dawes Arboretum houses over 92,000 archival items? They are located between the Daweswood House Museum, History Center, and Archive Building, and we care for and interpret these items. Here’s an inside look at some of these objects – our co-founder Bertie Dawes’s hats. Bertie Dawes was […]

Monarchs at The Dawes Arboretum

By Livia Raulinaitis, Conservation Research Technician How well do you know the Monarch butterfly? Many recognize its iconic wing pattern, but few realize that this small animal is truly amazing! Over its 30-day maturation cycle, this creature will begin in an egg less than 1 mm wide, grow to a 5 cm-long caterpillar and then […]

Ten Reasons Why Camp Dawes is Awesome

By Jill Holton-Arrasmith, Marketing Manager Camp Dawes day camp sessions start next week, and we are looking forward to another successful camp season.  We still have spaces in some of our camp sessions.  Now is the perfect time to register for a summer adventure at Camp Dawes.  Not sure if day camps at The Arboretum […]

Be Still my Heart…

By Mike Ecker, Director of Living Collections It’s a balmy, sunny spring morning. All that separates me from a wealth of sumptuous trees and shrubs is a flimsy ribbon that’s not to come down until the opening of The Dawes Arboretum’s Spring Plant Sale.  Ah, it’s time! My eyes dart from side to side, not […]

Arbor Day Festival at The Dawes Arboretum

By Mari Ann Moore, Marketing Associate   Trees are celebrated every day at The Dawes Arboretum, but the Arbor Day Festival is a special event. The Arboretum is the perfect place to enjoy trees, nature and everything that the Arbor Day Festival offers. The Dawes Arboretum is kicking off this year’s festival by giving the […]

History Center Preview: Spring 2018

By Leslie Wagner, Historian In 1929 The Dawes Arboretum was established by Beman and Bertie Dawes, propelled by Beman’s determination to inspire others to plant trees. At the time of The Arboretum’s establishment, Ohio was depleted of trees due to a 150-year period of forest removal. Beman, a former industrialist, decided to turn his oil […]

Maple Syrup Days: A Traditional Favorite with Some New Twists

By Sarah Mill, Director of Education With the last of the freezing nights and the beginning of sap flow, maple trees are tapped for their sweet sap which is boiled down into delicious maple syrup. At the Arboretum this signifies the beginning of Maple Syrup Days, our annual celebration featuring guided tours, maple syrup samples […]

Why Prescribed Burns Benefit Native Ecosystems

by Shana Byrd, Director of Land Conservation at The Dawes Arboretum & Ohio Certified Prescribed Fire Manager Historically, fire has been a natural feature of the landscape, helping to shape plant communities, promote diversity and favor the unique species that depend on fire to complete their life cycles.  For many years, fire suppression led to […]

Winter Appeal, Looks to Taste

This post was previously published on our blog on January 27, 2016. By Michael Ecker, Director of Horticulture   When it comes to plants possessing winter interest, some are mentioned over and over.   Nothing wrong with these commonly repeated plants, but how about some that do not come up as often?   Plants I tend to […]

The Dawes Arboretum Holiday Gift Guide

By Mari Ann Moore, Marketing Associate With the gift giving season upon us, it can be easy to get lost among the ribbons, bows, and endless shopping lists. To help, we have compiled the ultimate gift guide for the nature lover or Arboretum addict in your life. All of these items can be purchased in […]

Feeding Birds in Your Backyard

by Kris Davis, Ecosystem Manager   Are you planning on setting up a bird feeding station this winter?  There are several factors that go into successfully feeding backyard birds including feeder type, seed and feeder placement.   Feeders House style or “Hopper” feeders will attract a wide variety of feeder birds and are well protected […]

Celebrating Fall at The Dawes Arboretum

By Mari Ann Moore, Marketing Associate Walking through the Arboretum, you are sure to hear the crunch of the autumn foliage underneath your feet. The trails are being dusted by the crisp leaves as they jump off the trees to celebrate the season. Touring the grounds, you will experience the best part of celebrating fall […]

The Big Give: Donate to The Arboretum!

By Mari Ann Loucks, Marketing Associate   The Big Give, one of our biggest donation events of the year, is almost here! The Big Give is a 26-hour online giving event through The Columbus Foundation to support local nonprofits, including The Dawes Arboretum. The event begins Tuesday, October 10 at 10am and runs through Wednesday, […]

Home School Programs and Scouting Outings

By Mari Ann Loucks, Marketing Associate  Did you know we have programs specifically for home school students, as well as programs for Girls Scouts, Cub Scouts and American Heritage Girls? Families travel from all over Central Ohio to attend our classes while exploring the diversity of the natural world. We would love for you to […]

Summer Camp Fun at The Dawes Arboretum

By Kristie Hammond, Education Associate “I made a new friend.” –Incredible Edible Plants Camper “I love Dawes and I’m excited to come back!”- Little Naturalist Camper “I had lots of fun!” –Budding Artist Camper   These are just a few of the many reactions to camp Dawes this summer. Over seven weeks, The Dawes Arboretum […]

The Differences between a Park and an Arboretum

By Mari Ann Loucks, Marketing Associate As a new employee at The Dawes Arboretum, I often had to explain to my friends and family that a park is different from an arboretum. Merriam-Webster defines an arboretum as “a place where trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants are cultivated for scientific and educational purposes.” In other words, […]

Use Our New App to Guide Your Visit

By Jill Holton Arrasmith, Marketing Manager We are always looking for ways to our improve visitors’ experiences.  This spring we are rolling out a new tool that should do just that.  The Arboretum’s free mobile app made its debut at the Arbor Day Festival on April 28. The app features information about points of interest […]

The History of Arbor Day at The Dawes Arboretum

By Sarah Aisenbrey, Archivist  Not only does the month of April bring warmer weather and spring blooms throughout The Arboretum, it also includes two of our favorite holidays, Earth Day and Arbor Day.  Each year, we invite the public to celebrate trees and all the ways they make our lives better, during The Dawes Arboretum […]

Celebrating Woodland Ramps this Spring

The Arboretum’s Woodland Garden is home to many native plants like pawpaws and spicebush.  In late April and early May, you may even catch a glimpse of plants including foamflower, Virginia bluebells, wild geranium, and large-flower trillium. Throughout the season, wildflowers like these blanket the area, making it a sight to see. Adding to the area’s […]

Vote to Name The Dawes Arboretum the Best in the Nation

It’s possible you have heard the exciting news by now. The Dawes Arboretum was recently nominated as one of the best botanical gardens in the nation in USA Today’s latest 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest.  We are among 18 other public gardens in the running to reach the top spot and claim the title […]

A Trip Down the Maple Syrup Trail

With the unseasonably warm temperatures we have had this winter, late February felt a bit more like early spring. Nevertheless, Maple Syrup Days at The Dawes Arboretum kicked off this past weekend with a crowd of curious visitors wanting to learn about the source of the sweet stuff. It Starts With a Tree Sugar maples, […]

A Look Back at Land Conservation Projects in 2016

2016 was a busy year for everyone at The Arboretum, including our Land Conservation staff who worked on many conservation and land improvement projects that help position us as a leading advocate for the natural world across Licking County and the central Ohio region. We recently caught up with Shana Byrd, director of land conservation, […]

The Dawes Arboretum Tradition of Honoring Outstanding Horticulturists

The Dawes Arboretum has a long history of honoring prominent members of the horticulture community.  The Arboretum has dedicated trees in honor of forestry education pioneer Carl Alwin Schenck, Ph.D., researcher and professor of Horticulture at The Ohio State University Dr. Lewis C. Chadwick and even Johnny Appleseed!  Most recently, The Arboretum honored botanist and […]

Prune Oaks in Winter

By Mike Ecker, Director of Living Collections:  Goodness – it’s cold and you want to prune now?  Can’t we wait till it’s nice and warm in July or something?  Especially the oaks on Oak Hill!  You can’t get much more exposed to the elements on our grounds than on Oak Hill (Glacier Ridge on our […]

#GivingTuesday at The Arboretum

Black Friday. Cyber Monday. November 29, 2016 Following a day for giving thanks and days for getting deals, we now have #GivingTuesday — a day for giving back. As you check off your gift giving list, add another recipient … The Dawes Arboretum! There are many ways to share your abundance with The Arboretum: Become […]

A Tradition of Education at The Arboretum

Alexandra Sotkovsky, Marketing Associate Education has always been a focus of the Dawes family. In 1929, our founders Beman and Bertie Dawes enacted the Deed of Trust declaring The Arboretum as a place “…to give pleasure to the public and education to the youth.” The earliest center of education on Arboretum grounds was the Brumback […]

E Pluribus Unum (“Out of Many, One)

David Brandenburg, Taxonomic Botanist Looking out at your backyard one morning, you count some dozen and a half dandelions in bloom.  The actual number of individual dandelion flowers in your yard is surprisingly much greater than your visual estimate.  That’s because dandelions belong to the “composite” family of plants (Asteraceae, a.k.a. Compositae), sometimes called the […]

Plant It and They Will Come!

Carrie Brown, Conservation Project Manager “Plant it and they will come!”  Regarding native flowering plants and local pollinators, this happens to be the case!  Due to increasing pressures such as development & urbanization, changing climate, and habitat degradation, native pollinators need our help now more than ever.  You can make a difference by planting native plants […]

Gene Conservation of Tree Species: A Focus on Collaboration

Luke Messinger, Executive Director Shana Byrd, Director of Land Conservation This past month, collaborators from around the globe gathered in Chicago, Illinois to help ensure conservation of the world’s trees through creative partnerships.   With a special emphasis on preserving genetic diversity, the conference hosted by the Morton Arboretum in collaboration with the United States Forest Service and […]

Plant Records at The Dawes Arboretum

Greg Payton, Plant Records Specialist Keeping detailed records about the origin and disposition of Dawes’ living collection is in part how The Arboretum is distinct from a mere display garden. Detailed plant records and labels distinguish a scientific collection, and these allow the plants in the collection to be used for research and education as […]

History Center Preview: Spring 2016

Leslie Wagner, Historian The number of visitors that have visited our History Center in the past two years has been over 1,600.  With the sheer number of children exploring the exhibits, the new displays for this year will have a theme of education at The Dawes Arboretum.  Education has always been a focus of The Arboretum […]

Tap Into Mother Nature with Maple Syrup Madness

Sarah Mill, Director of Education After a mild start, it’s finally feeling like winter with cold air and bursts of snow.  The trees are hibernating right now, but their rest won’t last long. March is known by many as “maple syrup month.”  Beginning in late winter, as the days begin to creep above freezing while […]

Winter Appeal, Looks to Taste

Michael Ecker, Director of Horticulture When it comes to plants possessing winter interest, some are mentioned over and over.   Nothing wrong with these commonly repeated plants, but how about some that do not come up as often?   Plants I tend to visit every winter, over and over. Take a look at the trunk of the […]

Blending Current Landscapes with Future Conservation Collections

Shana Byrd, Director of Land Conservation As the seasons change, so does the scenery across the landscape.  This is especially true of The Arboretum, which is continually enhanced and cared for to conserve nature and add enjoyment for our visitors.  Over the years the Arboretum has grown and now encompasses nearly 2,000 acres of plant […]

2015 Highlights from the Executive Director

The Arboretum’s 86th year was certainly busy and we are excited to report on some of the accomplishments in our collections, education and conservation efforts. Perhaps most notably and visible in 2015 was the completion of the two-year long Japanese Garden reconstruction.   The reconstruct and reopening coincided with the Garden’s 50th anniversary since its dedication.  […]

Save the date: #GivingTuesday

Are you preparing your shopping list for the holiday season?  Add another recipient to your list—The Dawes Arboretum.  We’ve been especially nice this year and hope that Santa will bring us the gifts we need to continue to offer free admission to more than 250,000 visitors each year! Non-profit organizations have launched an annual campaign […]

The Sweetness of Sweetgums

The Sweetness of Sweetgum Mike Ecker, Director of Horticulture The first time someone told me they had a pine crossed with a maple I was completely taken aback.  That’s not possible.  A second time a year or so later, another person described the same “hybrid.”  My answer was the same.  Another year or two…  a […]

Handmade Goods Holiday Fair

Handmade Good Holiday Fair November 7, 2014 10am – 4pm Brandon Clayton, Visitors Services Director There is certainly a lot of competition in the local “craft show” market with many churches, schools and farmers markets playing host to vendors for different events.  Our event is different!  The Handmade Goods Holiday Fair is more than a […]

A Handmade Holiday

A Handmade Holiday by Brandon Clayton, Visitor Services Director The Handmade Goods Holiday Fair will be held at The Dawes Arboretum on November 7, 2015 from 10am until 4pm. This is an indoor event located in the Visitors Center. There is certainly a lot of competition in the local “craft show” market. With most churches, […]

Fall: A Time for Family Fun

Fall: A Time for Family Fun by Sarah Mill, Education Director The fall season is my favorite, for a number of reasons. In my family, fall is a time to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, honor traditions, rekindle friendships and take some pause from the daily routine to enjoy the great outdoors. For me, there is […]

Fall Plant Sale

Fall Plant Sale by Megan Fleischer, Display Gardens Manager We are within reach of the time of year I look forward to most; where a perfect day consists of cool, crisp morning air that slowly warms as the day ages.  It’s time to prepare for fall!  We’ve almost made it gardeners, another summer in the books.  […]

Food Truck Festival!

Food Truck Festival by Sarah Mill, Director of Education The 2nd Annual Food Truck Festival is nearly upon us!  In 2014, we invited four food trucks and a bakery, along with three local breweries, to share their eats and spread the message of local food, in a new event at The Arboretum.  With no attendance records to […]

History Center 2015

History Center 2015 by Leslie Wagner, Historian The history department is proud to display its exhibits for the year: the Japanese Garden, Rufus and Ephraim Dawes, Heisey Glass collection of Bertie Dawes and Tree Dedicator Johnny Clem. The Japanese Garden 50th anniversary makes a great reason to create an exhibit about the Arboretum’s most popular […]

Hunting for Treasure

Hunting for Treasure by Mike Ecker, Director of Horticulture People love hunting for treasures whether they do so in antique stores, old book stores or at the ever popular yard sales.  But I propose that among the favorite places to find treasure is right here at The Dawes Arboretum at the Spring Plant Sale and […]

The Japanese Garden Opens

The sun will once again rise in the east of The Dawes Arboretum’s Japanese Garden! Beginning Sunday, May 31, 2015, The Arboretum’s beloved garden will once again be open to visitors.  A celebration opening is planned for Saturday, May 30, 2015 at 6pm.  Honored guest Consul General of Japan, Dr. Katayama is scheduled to speak and […]

Arbor Day – A Celebration of Trees!

Arbor Day – A Celebration of Trees Sarah Mill Director of Education I was the odd kid at an urban elementary school in Columbus who forewent relay races and tetherball to collect honey locust seed pods and dig-up rocks in the corners of the school yard.  So, it came as no surprise when, on Arbor […]

Think Bonsai

| by Keith Stevens, Senior Horticulturalist | Spring is almost here!  As I write this, the snow is still on the ground and I’m thinking of all of the bonsai trees that are dormant waiting to start blooming in a few weeks.    Now is a good time to start preparing your bonsai trees for the […]

Daweswood Gifts – Restructured

|By Brandon Clayton, Director of Visitor Services| It is important, especially in retail, to keep up with trends and provide a fresh new look to keep visitors coming back for more. Because of this, Daweswood Gifts has recently undergone a face lift to improve our over all customer and visitor experience. We have added a […]

Boom Year for Maple Syrup?

By Beth Spieles, Interpretive Educator The forecasts may be lining up to predict a bountiful harvest of maple syrup this year.  Ecologists at Tufts University have reported evidence of a correlation between seed production and syrup production.  Since 2014 was considered a low mast year for maples (meaning fewer of those helicopter seeds were produced), […]

Have you considered volunteering at The Arboretum?

Last year we had nearly 200 people volunteer over 5000 hours!  Dawes could not be the beautiful, amazing place it is without the support of our valued volunteers. If the winter cold has you moving in slow motion, know that we are busy preparing for the upcoming spring.  One of the busiest times at The […]

Ephraim Dawes Back at The Arboretum

| By Leslie Wagner, Historian | The Dawes Arboretum Archives Building houses our artifacts not currently on display at the Daweswood House Museum or History Center. Vaults are located within the building that separates our different types of artifacts. Our historical paperwork and photographs are organized together, our library has all of our books shelved, […]

Looking Back with the Executive Director

| By Luke Messinger, Executive Director | Founded in 1929, the Dawes family helped initiate some of Ohio’s early forest research on a small farm east of Columbus and just north of the National Road. Since those early tree plantings, The Dawes Arboretum has grown to become one of North America’s leading arboreta. With our […]

Four things we could not have done this year without our donors!

| By Erin Neeb, Director of Development | This is a wonderful time to reflect on the year coming to an end and revel in accomplishments.  This year, The Dawes Arboretum was able to make several leaps forward in our work that were significantly funded by donors.  While our founders, Beman and Bertie Dawes, had […]

Small weddings budgets don’t mean “I can’t”

|  By Sharon Hupp, Events Coordinator  | I have seen so many brides get flustered as to the cost of getting married.  Simple can be so much more majestic and beautiful than the most detailed, ritzy wedding of the century.  Let’s face it; most of us can’t afford to be like Prince William and Duchess […]

Name that Plant: ID Instructions Revealed

|  By David Brandenburg, Ph.D  |  Read about some common scenarios and questions we hear about plant and wildflower identification: You’re hiking along a trail and spot a wildflower that you do not recognize, or you are cleaning up a home garden bed and encounter an unfamiliar weed—how can you find out what these plants […]

Why Plant in Fall? Find out Now!

Fall Plant Sale! Fall Plant Sale! Read all about it!   |  by Megan Fleischer, Display Gardens Manager It’s the time of year that I look forward to most—where a perfect day consists of cool, crisp morning air that slowly warms as the day ages.  Jacket weather.  Football.  Tailgating.  Pumpkin-flavored everything.  It’s fall!  We made […]

Osa Johnson: The Adventurer and The Arboretum

by Sarah Deffinger, History Intern  | “I am very happy to be able to plant in this beautiful tree-sanctuary a sweet-gum tree, for it has always been my favorite in Africa. . . . And since my heart is in Africa and I am giving you an African tree, I feel that I am leaving […]

Granville Brewing Company is featured at Ales in the Garden July 26

by Megan Fleischer, Display Gardens Manager  | On July 26th, The Arboretum is hosting the 2nd Annual Ales in the Garden from 7pm – 9pm.  A unique program partnering The Arboretum with a local brewery, this year we are excited to be featuring Granville Brewing Company.  This evening promises to be a fun mix of plants, food, […]

Megan’s Secrets from the Garden

by Megan Fleischer, Display Gardens Manager  | We are half-way through the year and many thoughts are running through my mind as we approach summer. With every passing rain storm I wonder if it’s the last one we’ll see for a while. Will I spend most of the summer hand watering plants? Will we have […]


Your support of The Dawes Arboretum is greatly appreciated! Participate in our survey to let us know how we can improve. Founded in 1929 the Dawes family helped initiate some of Ohio’s early research in reforestation on a small farm located just north of the National Road.  Since then, The Dawes Arboretum has grown to become one […]

Saving the American Chestnut Tree

By Peter Lowe  | A Species Threatened The American chestnut was once a prominent member of the Appalachian hardwood forest; however, in 1904 chestnut blight was introduced to North America with a devastating effect.  Chestnut blight, a fungus imported from Asia, is spread by means of spores in the air, raindrops, or animals and enters […]

Plant Sale Sneak Peek!

by Mike Ecker, Director of Horticulture  |   Plant Sale & Garden Fair will soon be here and Arboretum staff are already prepping and planning for the sale happening May 17.  Each year we continue to update and improve our offerings and it always seems to end successfully… more, I suspect, from dedicated buyers and […]

Visit the Brand New History Center… with Exhibits!

By Leslie Wagner, Historian The History Center has been an ever-changing space in The Dawes Arboretum’s history.  A garage for the Dawes family, the headquarters of the History department, and now a space to showcase our artifacts and archival materials.  The building is dedicated to C. Burr Dawes, son of the founders and the Arboretum’s […]

Celebrate Trees at The Arbor Day Festival

by Katelyn Brehmer, Education Intern It’s spring at The Arboretum!  New blooms, fresh green grass, and fun, springtime events make this one of my favorite seasons. There is always something fun to see and do on Arboretum grounds, especially in April when one of the biggest events of the year takes place–Arbor Day! After over […]

25 Reasons Why Summer Day Camps Rock!

For parents who are considering signing your child(ren) up for a day camp this summer, you might be asking yourself, “Is summer camp that important?” Here are 25 reasons why we think summer day camps are great: Being a young explorer and discovering things about the natural world Sometimes it’s okay to get your hands […]

The Japanese Garden: Polishing a Rare Gem

Recently, we received a letter from a member named Sandra who lives in Virginia.  She writes, “…my favorite place at Dawes is the Japanese Garden.  We enjoyed the celebration of the Harvest Moon last fall.  It certainly speaks well of the garden if someone will drive from the state of Virginia to attend this event.” […]

Fascinating and Peculiar Tree Behavior

Never too old to have seen it all—this is surely true for that which I saw during a National Holly Society conference tour near New Harmony Indiana, this past November.  As an explanatory lead-in I’ve included an image of a conifer trunk showing how the wood of this tree’s trunk naturally surrounds the base of branches. […]

Maple Syrup Season

I am often asked, “What is your favorite season at the Arboretum?” It’s not actually during the glow of fall or the rainbow of spring blooms, but during the frost of maple syrup season — for that is when Homo sapiens begin to migrate to The Arboretum in large numbers for another year! While I […]

The Challenges of Winter… So Far

~ by Jeff Bowman, Curator of Conifers As of January 27, 2014, this winter has been a cold and snowy one. Starting in November 2013, there has been above average snowfall and below average temperatures.  The past few winters have seemed mild compared to what Ohio has experienced over the last few months with never […]

A Few Thoughts Concerning North American Azaleas

by Rich Larson, Nursery Manager North American azaleas number over 15 species, 14 of which grow natively in eastern North America.  As a group, they are highly variable in their habit, timing of their flowers, ecology, and genetics.  Sweet azalea (Rhododendron arborescens [pictured: right]) for example,  may grow to only 3’ or less at high […]

Looking Ahead with the Executive Director

by Executive Director Luke Messinger (originally published in 2012-13 Annual Report). The Arboretum has grown tremendously since its founding in 1929 and the past year was no exception as we continued to expand on our founder’s core mission of trees, history and the natural world.  The year brought us record numbers of visitors and education […]

Joy to The Arboretum!

By Erin Neeb, Director of Development The holiday season is my favorite time of year.  People are just more caring during this season.  Families enjoy each other’s company around a decorated tree, friends relish a slice of pie at the dinner table, neighbors exchange ornate cookies, colleagues decorate the office with cheer, and even strangers […]

Luminary Tour and Poinsettia Sale, Friday December 6, 5:30 – 8pm

The countdown is on: one of the most magnificent displays of luminaries this holiday season is quickly approaching and The Arboretum elves are busy gearing up for this treasured event. An unforgettable evening that will bring joy to all—start with a leisurely car ride through our South End Auto Tour illuminated by 2,000 candle-lit luminaries.  […]

Arboretum Weddings: Trends & Ceremony Sites

Wow!  With wedding season winding down I have time to sit and reflect about some of the wonderful events we have had and people we have met.  I consider myself blessed to be able to help create so many families’ special days. My brides’ trends this year seemed to be pulling from two distinct areas.  […]

What Makes Autumn Fall?

by Peter Lowe, Native Landscape Manager On these crisp October mornings when I leave for work I begin my trek in darkness with the soft glow of moonlight descending behind me.  As I reach the practically empty stretch of state route 161 I am greeted by the rising sun and the revelation of color change […]

This Reason to Visit The Arboretum Might Surprise You

When you think of visiting The Dawes Arboretum, chances are, the images that come to mind are diverse plants and trees, serene ponds, gardens or natural areas.  These are the things that make The Arboretum a treasure to explore, but we offer other treasures, too—and these ones can be brought home with you!  An extension of […]

Finding Your Civil War Ancestors

Want to find out if your family has a connection to the Civil War?  Please join our upcoming workshop, Finding Your Civil War Ancestors on October 1, 2013 at 6pm.  The speaker is Eydie Wright Keim, President of the Licking County Genealogical Society.  Free to attend, donations welcomed. The American Civil War celebrates its 150th […]

Megan’s Secrets from the Garden

Megan Fleischer, The Arboretum’s Display Gardens Manager, gives seasonal news, tips and advice. The gardens are experiencing a flurry of activity and color. Now is a great time to see a plethora of perennials in their prime! Mother Nature has been unusually kind to the gardens this year. Rainfall has been steady and our perennials are […]

This Tea is not your Average Earl Grey

By Peter Lowe, Native Landscape Manager There is nothing like a warm night of rain to get your gardening gears turning. During a recent rainfall I shut off my T.V., phone, ipad, and computer, while throwing open all my windows and doors to let in the sounds of raindrops falling outside. It was just the […]

Blooms Journal – 6/3/13

What’s blooming now? This is an informal blooming journal from Director of Horticulture Mike Ecker. For specific information on the locations mentioned below, please call 740.323.2355 or email us at White flowering, rounded trees with large panicles are Japanese tree-lilac.  Nice to see how many are used as street trees.  At The Arboretum they can be seen […]

Blooms Journal – 5/28/13

This is an informal blooming journal from Director of Horticulture Mike Ecker. For specific information on the location mentioned below, please call 740.323.2355 or email us at Well, things aren’t as riotous as they have been but don’t let that keep you from touring the grounds!  Still lots to see.  In fact some things from the […]

Blooms Journal – 5/14/13

This will be a shortened description this week with Plant Sale coming up Saturday.  Lots of prep work yet to go. And still lots of color to see – although the landscape there are a lot of different greens to see – but I know most don’t want to look at a color so boringly […]

Blooms Journal – 5/6/13

This is an informal blooming journal from Director of Horticulture Mike Ecker. For specific information on the location mentioned below, please call 740.323.2355 or email us at It’s greener than last week, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other colors to see.  A fine viewing example is from Center Point looking down the hill.  Some heirloom […]

Blooms Journal – 4/30/2013

This is an informal blooming journal from Director of Horticulture Mike Ecker. For specific information on the location mentioned below, please call 740.323.2355 or email us at I love spring! The Japanese Garden in particular embodies my love of nature and horticulture. The garden is ablaze with various colors of green, red, pink with a freshness […]

Blooms Journal – 4/25/2013

This is an informal blooming journal from Director of Horticulture Mike Ecker. For specific information on the location mentioned below, please call 740.323.2355 or email us at Blooming Now – April 25, 2013! Well, bit of frost over weekend did a number on some of last week’s flower show. Most magnolias with flowers out are browned […]

Blooms Journal – 4/16/2013

This is an informal blooming journal from Director of Horticulture Mike Ecker. For specific information on the location mentioned below, please call 740.323.2355 or email us at Blooming Now – April 16, 2013! The witch-hazels are done. I guess 4 months of blooming was enough. Most cherries are in full bloom – Japanese Garden and […]

Megan’s Secrets from the Garden

Megan  Fleischer, The Arboretum’s Display Garden Manager, gives seasonal gardening tips in her periodic blog. Spring is here—hooray!  No really, March 20th is the first day of spring!  You know, the time of year where temperatures won’t drop below 40 degrees at night and will reach at least 60 degrees daily, right?  Ha, I can dream.  […]

A Day in the Life of Maple Sugar

Maple Syrup Madness is going on February 23 – March 9 Monday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm Sundays, 1 – 4pm The sugar moon shone brightly all the way to the forest floor.  The previous day’s snow showers had clung to the windward side of the tallest tree trunks.  The snow had melted midday but […]

A Chance to Dabble in the Art of Grafting

The last Saturday of every January a grafting workshop is held, which, for most people, represents the first and only time they will enjoy the experience of grafting woody plants. In this program, each grafter gets a feel for the knife and can put two plants together cleanly with the help of Horticulture expert and Propagator […]

Autumn Mulching

It’s as if someone creeps out in the middle of the night with paint buckets full of rich reds, oranges and yellows and a strong desire to paint every leaf in sight.  The change happens so suddenly.  One day we’re sitting outside enjoying the green of summer and the next we’re knee-deep in autumn, admiring […]

The Life Cycle of Trash

Help keep our planet clean by using a recycling bin instead of a trash can for many of your household materials.  Most can be used and reused to ensure a more Earth-friendly life cycle.  Think about setting up a composting area and buying products that are made with post-consumer waste or recycled materials.   Plastics […]

The Dawes Arboretum to the Rescue! (as usual)

Tips that could help turn your backyard desert into an oasis Between dry spells, 100-degree temperatures, and summer storms that tear up trees and flatten flowers, your garden is probably looking a little worse for wear.  If you’ve noticed any of these warning signs, please contact us immediately for garden resuscitation*: Tumble weeds are rolling […]