OH – Rowe Arboretum
The Rowe Arboretum was started in 1926 by Stanley and Dorothy Rowe on their estate in the then quiet village – now suburb of Cincinnati – Indian Hill. Over the years the Rowes hobby grew into a collection which at times numbered close to 5,000 different trees and shrubs. Visitors in those days were allowed to tour the estate by appointment and sometimes the tours were given by the Rowes themselves.
Upon their death the Rowes donated the estate to Indian Hill’s Green Areas program. Portions were sold off to create an endowment and today a nine acre portion, heavily populated by specimens from around the world, became the Arboretum which opened in 1987. Plans were drawn by a landscape architect who designated areas for conifers, and even one section was designed and planted as a dwarf conifer collection. These sections originated in the early to mid-1930’s, and some remain today as part of the Arboretum’s collections.
The Arboretum also contains collections of lilacs, crabapples, deciduous trees and shrubs. With the many evergreens already taking up a large portion of the property, the decision was made to revise the collections policy to focus on conifers. It is estimated that there are well over 1,300 different conifers and evergreens on display but the number is probably higher as records are currently being updated.
More recently some Dr. Clark West collections have been added. These include a Colorado spruce witch’s broom seedling display, a 3rd generation seedling assortment from a Thuja occidentalis Filiformis’, and, in 2011, a group of Thuja occidentaIis Rosenthalii’ 3rd generation seedlings were planted. These unique collections accompany other smaller samples in the gardens. The 2009 ACS Conifer Reference Garden grant funded the production of labels throughout the collection that aptly demonstrate to the public the diversity which conifers provide.