Dawes Arboretum in Ohio is better than National Arboretum!

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Dawes Arboretum in Ohio is better than National Arboretum!

Post  jonkatzmail on Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:44 pm

The Dawes Arboretum that is a little east of Columbus, Ohio is much better than the National Arboretum in Washington, DC, at least in terms of the upkeep of the plants on the grounds! They even have some bonsai outside the Visitor Center, including one Scots Pine that has been trained since 1907, which is their oldest one. Then there is a very small Cypress Swamp area that has Bald Cypress with actual Cypress knees sticking up out of the ground, and in the small amount of water that is in the swamp there was a very small brown water snake that seemed to be as interested in seeing me as I was in seeing it. It was trying to burrow into the weeds at the bottom of the water, which was less than a foot deep and then coming up to look at me. It was close enough that I stretched out and caught it! It wasn't too thrilled with being caught but not as bad as you would think either. It smeared snake musk on my hands while I looked at it. I let it go again of course but it was great to see an actual wild snake since you never see them anywhere. Then the rest of the grounds were interesting too, there was even some grown Japanese Zelkova "Green Vase". Anyway, if you are around there sometime you should go look, its free!
**edit**
Look down farther for what I meant. The BONSAI are better at the National Arboretum, by far. The GROUNDS are better at Dawes Arboretum, by far. I explain why farther down there.---------vvv


Last edited by jonkatzmail on Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:13 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Dawes Arboretum in Ohio is better than National Arboretum!

Post  John Quinn on Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:11 pm

Trained since 1907...wow!

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Re: Dawes Arboretum in Ohio is better than National Arboretum!

Post  JimLewis on Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:44 pm

The Dawes Arboretum that is a little east of Columbus, Ohio is much better than the National Arboretum in Washington, DC, at least in terms of the upkeep of the plants on the grounds!

I'm sure it is very nice, but have you SEEN all the trees at the National Arboretum? The Japanese trees? The Chinese trees? The tropicals? The North American trees?

And then there is th NC Arboretum's fine collection, and the famous Weyerhauser Collection, the BBG collection, the Jardain Botanique in Montreal collection, and a few others.

"Much better" is a bold (and very subjective) statement. All of those mentioned (and others I haven't seen) have danged fine collections of danged fine trees.

Which leads me to ask of the North American users here: Is there a reasonably complete on-line listing of large public collections of bonsai (and stones, I suppose) in North America? If there is, no sense reinventing the wheel. If not, let's put one together.

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Re: Dawes Arboretum in Ohio is better than National Arboretum!

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:22 pm

OK, I think I have posted these before, but I know of four permanent Bonsai exhibits in Florida. All require admission to the park/garden that hosts them.

On the East Coast, if you use I-95

I-95 Exit 191 about a mile east to the Brevard Zoo, the Bonsai Society of Brevard has a small exhibit.

I-95 Exit 131 and then east to US Highway 1 South, Heathcote Botanical Gardens has an exhibit of trees donated by Jim Smith. One hundred world class tropicals.

I-95 Exit 52 and West or Florida Turnpike Exit 81 and East to Jog Road south to Morikami Gardens.


On the West Coast, if you use I-75, exit 210 and West to Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota. (I have not been there so I can’t comment on the exhibit.)

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Re: Dawes Arboretum in Ohio is better than National Arboretum!

Post  Ryan on Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:25 pm

jonkatzmail wrote:The Dawes Arboretum that is a little east of Columbus, Ohio is much better than the National Arboretum in Washington, DC, at least in terms of the upkeep of the plants on the grounds! They even have some bonsai outside the Visitor Center, including one Scots Pine that has been trained since 1907, which is their oldest one. Then there is a very small Cypress Swamp area that has Bald Cypress with actual Cypress knees sticking up out of the ground, and in the small amount of water that is in the swamp there was a very small brown water snake that seemed to be as interested in seeing me as I was in seeing it. It was trying to burrow into the weeds at the bottom of the water, which was less than a foot deep and then coming up to look at me. It was close enough that I stretched out and caught it! It wasn't too thrilled with being caught but not as bad as you would think either. It smeared snake musk on my hands while I looked at it. I let it go again of course but it was great to see an actual wild snake since you never see them anywhere. Then the rest of the grounds were interesting too, there was even some grown Japanese Zelkova "Green Vase". Anyway, if you are around there sometime you should go look, its free!


1907? That's nothing. What about the 4 centuries old Japanese White Pine at the National Arboretum??

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Re: Dawes Arboretum in Ohio is better than National Arboretum!

Post  drgonzo on Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:40 pm

One of the coolest aspects of the Jardain botanique in Montreal is the LARGE zen rock garden thats in the Japanese pavilion, its like one of those silly desk top ones you see ...except life size!

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Re: Dawes Arboretum in Ohio is better than National Arboretum!

Post  John Quinn on Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:25 pm

"1907? That's nothing. What about the 4 centuries old Japanese White Pine at the National Arboretum??"

Yeah, if you don't mind imported trees!! Razz

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Re: Dawes Arboretum in Ohio is better than National Arboretum!

Post  Eastern Bonsai on Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:11 am

Hello,

Anyone have any pictures of the Dawes Arboretum. I have been to the National Bonsai Arboretum in the late summer and it was very nice. Would like to see some first hand photos before I decided to make the trip.

Thanks,
Abe

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Re: Dawes Arboretum in Ohio is better than National Arboretum!

Post  fiona on Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:20 am

jonkatzmail wrote:The Dawes Arboretum that is a little east of Columbus, Ohio is much better than the National Arboretum in Washington, DC, at least in terms of the upkeep of the plants on the grounds! They even have some bonsai outside the Visitor Center, including one Scots Pine that has been trained since 1907, which is their oldest one. Then there is a very small Cypress Swamp area that has Bald Cypress with actual Cypress knees sticking up out of the ground, and in the small amount of water that is in the swamp there was a very small brown water snake that seemed to be as interested in seeing me as I was in seeing it. It was trying to burrow into the weeds at the bottom of the water, which was less than a foot deep and then coming up to look at me. It was close enough that I stretched out and caught it! It wasn't too thrilled with being caught but not as bad as you would think either. It smeared snake musk on my hands while I looked at it. I let it go again of course but it was great to see an actual wild snake since you never see them anywhere. Then the rest of the grounds were interesting too, there was even some grown Japanese Zelkova "Green Vase". Anyway, if you are around there sometime you should go look, its free!

It's 1.15am and I'm knackered so it may just be me, but this thread is confusing the hell out of me. The replies for the most part, with their references to bonsai collections, seem to assume he is criticising the various collections within the National Bonsai and Penjing museum and is saying that the trees therein are less worthy. I must confess that was the assumption I made too, but when I re-read the original post I now think the guy is not talking about the bonsai collection as such. Although he mentions bonsai, I think the main drift of his post is about the full-size trees in the National Arboretum itself. According to the website, the cypress swamp he mentions is a full-size one. Either that or his "very small brown water snake" has also been bonsaied and truly is hellova wee.

Can you clarify this for us Jonkatzmail please? Are you saying that the bonsai collection contained within the Dawes arboretum is superior to that of the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum, or are you saying that the Dawes Arboretum itself is better than the National Arboretum (as opposed to the museum)?



And if this is about the merits (or otherwise) of various arboreta as opposed to bonsai collections, it should really be in General Discussion.

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Re: Dawes Arboretum in Ohio is better than National Arboretum!

Post  John Quinn on Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:43 am

'And if this is about the merits (or otherwise) of various arboreta as opposed to bonsai collections, it should really be in General Discussion.'
And probably not in 'Bonsai Questions' in any case. Cool

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Re: Dawes Arboretum in Ohio is better than National Arboretum!

Post  jonkatzmail on Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:05 am

Oh. Embarassed
Yeah, what I meant was that the Dawes Arboretum was better because the entire grounds is taken care of very well as opposed to the National Arboretum which just has small areas that are maintained and the rest is... well, more or less ignored. The National Arboretum is a federal area used for research that lets people in to look at it but isn't meant to be a public showcase for the plants there. And federal funding is withdrawn from the research too so it looks abandoned in most of the area, with a few spots maintained by volunteers. But the Dawes Arboretum has the entire grounds maintained and is meant to showcase the plants and the different areas in it. I don't think its maintained by tax dollars (though it might be) so its not subject to political whims or withdrawl of grants for research or things like that. So it doesn't look abandoned anywhere on the grounds.
The BONSAI are better at the National Arboretum, though. And there are A LOT more of them there than at the Dawes Arboretum. I'm sure there are less than thirty bonsai at Dawes Arboretum, I'm not sure if there are less than twenty. So if you want to see a lot of bonsai (or much variety) then don't plan on Dawes Arboretum. But if you are over in that area then its worth spending a few hours looking at the grounds compared to the National Arboretum, which has disappointing grounds but superior bonsai.
I have only ever seen two Aboreta (Arboretums?), these two, so could not say how they compare to anywhere else.
How is that? bounce

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Re: Dawes Arboretum in Ohio is better than National Arboretum!

Post  fiona on Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:13 am

Clear now thanks.

I have had the pleasure of visiting the National Arboretum in DC on a couple of occasions and, while admitting that it's very much a matter of personal taste, I liked the fact that there were sections of it that were left to grow "wild". As I say, it's a personal thing and I have never favoured the trimmed lawns and clipped hedges approach - not even in my own garden. I have never visited Dawes so can't comment on it.

I have however visited several other arboretums (or arboreta if you are a pedant like me) across the globe and DC impressed me, as did Melbourne (Aus) as does probably my all-time favourite of Westonbirt in Gloucestershire which most definitely still has "wild" areas. But then again I am spoiled as my previous job allowed me to access to the great Botanic gardens in the UK including Kew and Edinburgh. But more relevantly one of my main bases was the Glasgow Botanic Gardens whose arboretum - although small in comparison - is wonderfully varied and well maintained by council employees and volunteers together.

If the way forward for publicly-owned facilities is healthy partnerships with "friends of" or other volunteer groups, then I have no problem with that - I'll get my hands dirty to help preserve something I feel is worth preserving. It's a welcome change from the people who moan about how the facility is getting so run down. Unsurprisingly, these moaners as often the very people who wouldn't think twice about leaving their litter lying on the ground where they'd been sitting as it's "someone else's job" to clear up.

Who want this soap-box - think I'm done with it for the meantime. Laughing


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Re: Dawes Arboretum in Ohio is better than National Arboretum!

Post  JimLewis on Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:11 pm

It's a welcome change from the people who moan about how the facility is getting so run down. Unsurprisingly, these moaners as often the very people who wouldn't think twice about leaving their litter lying on the ground where they'd been sitting as it's "someone else's job" to clear up.

I'll hop briefly on that soapbox to say that those people also moan and groan over the taxes they pay to support these "frivolous" things.

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Re: Dawes Arboretum in Ohio is better than National Arboretum!

Post  fiona on Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:58 pm

JimLewis wrote:
It's a welcome change from the people who moan about how the facility is getting so run down. Unsurprisingly, these moaners as often the very people who wouldn't think twice about leaving their litter lying on the ground where they'd been sitting as it's "someone else's job" to clear up.

I'll hop briefly on that soapbox to say that those people also moan and groan over the taxes they pay to support these "frivolous" things.
... and then moan some more because there's "nowhere to go" and "nothing to do" and "nowhere for the kids to play" no doubt.

My home city of Glasgow boasts over 70 parks of varying shapes, sizes and types. I've just come in the door from one of them which has many acres of wooded walks, a children's farm, a major art collection (with full scale restaurant), a mountain bike trail, a historic house which is open to the public and a splendid walled garden. And still I overheard someone moaning about having to pay 20p (probably around 20cents) for parking for the whole day. Want the soapbox back again, Jim?

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Re: Dawes Arboretum in Ohio is better than National Arboretum!

Post  jonkatzmail on Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:06 pm

Well, I'm not exactly complaining about the National Arboretum, I'm just disappointed that a "National" arboretum gets its money cut off so people from other nations see something that looks rundown. Sad Until I went there I didn't even know what an arboretum was. It looks like it was maintained at one time and then abandoned, then maintained, then abandoned, now maintained in tiny spots. So there is the National Bonsai collection in one area that looks pretty good, and then there is the National Boxwood collection that looks kinda like an abandoned neighbor's yard, and the Grove of State Trees that I don't think has the trees labelled and maybe has dead or damaged trees, and then Fern Valley which has many, many individual plants labelled by species and common names and has a path leading thru it and its own map. I guess the extreme contrast between areas seems really unusual for a "National" arboretum. On the other hand, it seems to be in a bad part of Washington (I'm not sure if there are "good" parts though...) and there is no way for a tourist to get there easily so it might not matter too much. If you ask anyone how to get there, they all tell you its not possible! And if you ask if there is a bus that goes near there they look at you and say not to do that but to take a taxi there! I didn't know why until I tried driving there and found it takes some effort to wind your way thru the slums of Washington to get there by car, and tourists would be too scared of most of the area to try to walk from a bus stop. Shocked Its too bad....
I sure know how to rant don't I?.... Rolling Eyes

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Re: Dawes Arboretum in Ohio is better than National Arboretum!

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:11 am

We went to the to National Arboretum on what had to be the hottest day in the history of the world. Our daughter drove and got lost going back to our hotel in the city. It took us two hours and a lunch break to get back into the city. We also visited Maryland, twice, on out quest. I think one reason for some of the poor upkeep is that a lot of work is done by volunteers for the different "gardens" and the supply of volunteers waxes and wanes. Our National Bonsai exhibit has a great staff of volunteers and true national support.

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Re: Dawes Arboretum in Ohio is better than National Arboretum!

Post  jonkatzmail on Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:47 am

I went back to the Dawes Arboretum on the way to Virginia Beach and counted 36 bonsai on display. And I collected 5 buckeyes off the ground under a Yellow Buckeye but when I went to a different area there were signs saying Do NOT collect the Buckeyes. I think they were special trees to Ohio though I forget what it was that made them special. I think a bonsai Buckeye tree would look nice but I doubt the leaves would reduce much. bounce

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Re: Dawes Arboretum in Ohio is better than National Arboretum!

Post  JimLewis on Sat Oct 01, 2011 1:53 pm

I seem to recall that Walter P. did a buckeye -- and quite successfully -- some years ago. buckeye is the state tree of Ohio -- the Buckeye State.

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