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FAQs

Here are a few common questions we receive about The Arboretum.

What time do the grounds close? Can’t we stay longer?

The Arboretum is open 7am until 5pm (November – February) each day.  Visitors are asked to respect closing times.  If you’re interested in exploring the grounds at night, be sure to check our calendar for upcoming Night Hikes and other scheduled evening programs.  See the Calendar for listings.

How can I get the most out of my visit?

With so much to see and do, you’ll likely want to come back time and again.  First, explore this website and jot down ideas of places you want to see and programs that interest you.  Visit frequently during any season to see new and exciting sights.  Have any favorite plants?  View flowering schedules to find out when they should be in bloom.  Click on the Calendar tab to find out what special activities and learning opportunities are scheduled. Don’t hesitate to ask us for advice as you plan your trip.  Call The Dawes Arboretum at 800.44.DAWES.

Where are the restrooms?

Restrooms are located in the Visitors Center.  There are restrooms on the upper level and the lower level which can be used anytime our grounds are open.  There are entrances to the lower level restrooms in the rear of the Visitors Center.

Where are the trash cans?

There are places for trash and recycling at the Visitors Center.  If you are out on grounds and have trash to dispose of (for example picnic items, etc.), we ask that you bring it with you and do not leave it anywhere on our grounds.

Where do the Daweswood House Tours begin and where do I purchase tickets?

Tours through the Daweswood House Museum begin at the Daweswood House front porch where you will meet your tour guide.  Tickets can be purchased at The Visitors Center prior to tour start time. Tours are free for members!

When is the Daweswood House open?

Tours of the Daweswood House Museum are available seasonally on Saturdays and Sundays at 1pm and 3pm and the second Wednesday of the month at 3pm.  See the Calendar for the scheduled tours.

How long is the Auto Tour?

The entire Auto Tour is 4.46 miles (includes all paved areas).  There are several options for taking a driving tour.  There is a South Loop and North Loop of the tour, as well as parking spots along the way where visitors can park their vehicle and walk around.

Where is the best place to start walking the trails?

Our trails can be accessed from many areas on our grounds.  A good starting point is at Center Point, near the Visitors Center.  You can also drive through the Auto Tour and park in an area that interests you and begin walking a trail from there.  Pick up a Visitor Map in the Visitors Center to help you explore.

What are the trail surfaces like?

The trails traverse a variety of surfaces and terrain including gravel, asphalt, mulch, grass and cement.

Are bikes allowed?

Yes, we ask that visitors do not ride bikes on grass or dirt trails or in the Japanese Garden.

Are visitors allowed to climb trees?

No.  We think of our plant and tree collections as a museum without walls.  Our staff works hard to take great care of our collections.  Climbing on them could cause damage to the trees … or to a visitor who is injured while attempting to climb.  Visit during our Arbor Day Festival where we offer professional tree climbing!  It’s safe and you still get a view from the treetops!

Do we need a permit to take pictures?

For personal use; no.  If you are a professional photographer; yes.  We welcome photos of our beautiful grounds!  However, we do require professional photographers, who profit from using our property, to purchase a membership to The Dawes Arboretum at the Chestnut Club Level or above.

We also ask that during photo sessions visitors and photographers do not walk or sit in flower beds, or otherwise misuse areas that are not intended for entrance.  This helps minimize damage to our collections.  We appreciate your consideration of our collections while you take photos.  Enjoy!

What are membership fees used for?

Membership dues are a vital resource for The Arboretum, affording us the opportunity to continue to provide free admission to our grounds and a rich offering of low and no-cost programming.  These funds allow us to respond to the most pressing needs of the organization as they arise—allowing us flexibility in utilizing the funds for anything from trail maintenance to research projects.  The Dawes Arboretum is the largest Arboretum in the country without an entry fee and we need your help to keep it that way. We appreciate all of our members who help us build a robust arboretum and a community dedicated to increasing the love and knowledge of trees, history and the natural world.

Where is the prettiest place to take pictures?

That’s a tough one!  Beautiful areas can be found all over our grounds, but it’s based on personal taste and interest.  Some photo area favorites are the Japanese Garden, the Dawes Lake and Island, the Hedge Lettering from the Outlook Tower, the Daweswood House and Gardens, the Conifer Glen, the Holly Collection, the Deep Woods and the All Seasons Garden.  These are just a few!  It’s best to find your own favorite areas while exploring.

How do I get to the Dutch Fork Wetlands?

The Dutch Fork Wetlands are located on White Chapel Road, north of The Dawes Arboretum.  From The Arboretum entrance, turn left onto Ohio Route 13, then turn left (west) on to White Chapel Road.  The entrance and parking area is on the left in about .5 miles.

What is actually on the East Side? Why do I need to sign in to go there?

Arboretum East is a natural area with trails, a pond and a gorge overlook that many visitors find fun to explore.  It can be accessed by a tunnel under Ohio Route 13, which is near the Cypress Swamp.  Please keep in mind that the hiking trails are a little more challenging than those on Main Grounds.  Please stop at the front desk in the Visitors Center to get permission to access natural areas.  We request that you do so to help The Arboretum be aware of the visitors that are using this area, and for emergency purposes.

Is fishing allowed?

Yes, if you are a member of The Arboretum.  We allow catch-and-release fishing in Dawes Lake.  Join our membership program if you are interested in fishing (memberships start at $30).

The fish species found in Dawes Lake are bluegill, channel catfish, largemouth bass, some crappie and white amur (for vegetation control).

Are dogs allowed?

Yes.  We are very dog-friendly!  Just make sure to please keep your pet on a leash and clean up after him or her.

Is cross-country skiing or sledding allowed in the snow?

No.  We have many low-growing shrubs and flower beds that could be damaged, so we do not allow skiing or sledding.

Can I collect fallen leaves, buckeyes, twigs, pine cones or pick flowers and plants during my visit?

No.  If everyone picked things off our collection trees, or took something home with them, our grounds would look much different.  Our natural areas and collections are free for all to enjoy while on grounds, but please do not take anything.  For educational purposes, a Collection Permit can be obtained from the Horticulture Department.

What's in bloom?

Click here for our Flowering Schedule.

I have a plant question. Who should I ask?

Contact our expert Horticulture staff!  Plant Clinic is designed to help people who have any type of plant or tree-related question.  Plant Clinic is available Monday through Saturday, 8am – 4pm.  Stop by the Visitors Center and a staff member will call the Horticulture expert in to speak with you, or call 740.323.2355 OR 800.44.DAWES or email information@dawesarb.org.

How do I find out about upcoming programs?

Upcoming programs are listed in each issue of our Programs & Events guide, which is available in the Visitors Center and mailed to our members (membership starts at just $30).  Upcoming events can be viewed on our website calendar. Registration can be done online, by calling 800.44.DAWES or by visiting our Visitor’s Center.

What's the registration policy for programs?

Our registration policy can be found here.

Is there food sold at The Arboretum?

Light snacks, water, and other beverages can be purchased at Daweswood Gifts, located in the Visitors Center.  Please note: there is sales tax on food sold in the gift shop.

Can we rent a golf cart to get around in?

No.  Golf carts are used by staff members working on the grounds.  The Auto Tour is a great way to travel around a large area, while still being able to get out and walk around.  Visitors are also welcome to ride bikes on the Auto Tour and paved areas.

What is the procedure for lost or stolen property?

The Dawes Arboretum is not responsible for lost or stolen property.  There is a Lost & Found in the Visitors Center.

Why don’t you sell the Maple Syrup you make during Maple Syrup Days?

We do not have a license to sell our Maple Syrup, but we do put it to educational use and give samples away to our volunteers each year at the Maple Syrup Pancake Breakfast.  You can taste a sample of our syrup during Maple Syrup Days at the Log Cabin.

During Maple Syrup Season, Daweswood Gifts stocks Ohio harvested maple syrup and a variety of other maple syrup products for visitors to purchase.

Is The Arboretum a good place to take an injured animal?

No.  The Dawes Arboretum will not take in any animals.

In order to take in wild animals, the law requires a license which The Dawes Arboretum does not have.  If you have a young or injured wild animal the Ohio Wildlife Center in Columbus will take in the wild animal and nurse it back to health, eventually releasing it back into the wild.

For questions about a wild animal please contact the ODNR Division of Wildlife:  614.265.6300

For information about lost or found domestic animals, please contact your local Humane Society or animal shelter.