NEWARK, Ohio (WJW)– Beeman and Bertie Dawes loves trees. So much so, that they build their own arboretum.
Planting started in 1924 with a small farm they purchased just outside of Columbus. The original home is still on the property with furnishings.
“When Beeman and Bertie came to this farmland, it was about 200 acres. They did agricultural operations here. Had an orchard, did maple syruping and collected trees. Since 1929 the arboretum has grown to nearly 2,000 acres. We continue to grow our collections, continue to do habitat restoration, continue to do best management practices for agriculture,” said Luke Messinger, executive director of the Dawes Arboretum.
As you drive through Dawes Arboretum, there are themed gardens, like the popular Japanese garden.
“Most people will make it a point to stop by this garden. It’s off the auditor, which is about 4.5 miles long as you drive through the arboretum. Most people stop here and take the loop trail around the pond. See the resting place, the stepping stones across the water and the arched bridges,” Messinger said.
There are beautiful plants throughout the property. Each one is numbered and monitored.
“We have 5,000 different varieties of plants. Those are woody plants. We don’t necessarily track the perennials that we have in our garden areas. But woody plants we track. We have 5,000 varieties. We have about 17,000 of these plants are in our records system,” Messinger said.
There’s an observation tower tower and a unique area called the stumpery garden.
“It makes use of tree stumps. It’s an old English landscape tradition. Whereas they would clear landscapes they would move stumps to the side, as they would lay there the soil that was contained on the roots would sprout some of the woodland plants,” the executive director said.
And best of all, it’s just a One Tank Trip.