Dawes Arboretum

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Dawes Arboretum

The Dawes Arboretum is a two-thousand acre preserve sited five miles miles south of Newark in central Licking County. The Arboretum is a private institution devoted to education, research, and recreation. Founded on June 1, 1929 by Beman and Bertie Dawes, the stated goal of the site was to "encourage the planting of forest and ornamental trees and to demonstrate value of different varieties…for the practical and scientific research in horticulture and agriculture." The Arboretum's mandate went beyond research and scientific benefit, however, and Beeman and Bertie, an amateur photographer and naturalist,wished also to "give pleasure to the public and education to the youth; and to increase general knowledge of trees and shrubs." [1]

The Arboretum grew over the decades as local volunteers and international notables alike dedicated their time and efforts to planting trees for research and enjoyment. Among those who have planted trees at Dawes are U.S Army generals John Pershing and John Clem, Artic Explorer Richard Byrd, inventor Orville Wright, Olympian Jesse Owens, and naturalist Jack Hanna.[2] From an original 293 acres in 1929, the Arboretum had grown to 600 acres in 1961, 1100 acres by 1983 with a large expansion across Route 13, and 1700 acres by 2004, culminating in its current, 2,000 acre incarnation. [3] Dawes Arboretum has held numerous events including festivals, Folklife and Pioneer Days, music concerts, and educational programs.

On-site attractions include, a Visitors Center, Dawes Lake, Japanese Garden, Daweswood House, the Observation tower, and Education Center.



  1. Beeman Gates Dawes, Deed of Trust, June 1, 1929 (as amended April 1, 1932)
  2. Dave Shinn, "Dawes Arboretum gained world fame," The Licking Countian, December 11, 1986, and "Jack Hanna Dedicates Tree at Dawes Arboretum," The Granville Booster, November 20, 1989.
  3. David Vermilion, "The Dawes Arboretum-Created 75 Years Ago," The Licking County Historical Society Summer 2004, and David Dildine, "Local Hot Spot Branches Out, The Advocate February 4, 1990