Chadwick Arboretum’s Plant Sale Is May 8-9


COLUMBUS, Ohio — A buckeye tree with deep-scarlet flowers, sure to appeal to diehard Ohio State fans, is one of the more than 650 uncommon plant types available at Chadwick Arboretum’s May 8-9 spring plant sale and auction.

The 62-acre public arboretum is on the grounds of The Ohio State University. The school’s colors, of course, are scarlet and gray.

The sale and auction are a main fundraiser for the arboretum, which is part of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Offered will be trees, shrubs, herbs, annuals, perennials, vegetables, hanging baskets, garden art, Mother’s Day gifts and more. Find a complete plant list at

Ohio State Scarlet buckeye trees will be the first plants offered in both days’ auctions, said Chadwick Arboretum Director Mary Maloney. Derived from the red buckeye, the Ohio State Scarlet buckeye has richer, more consistently colored flowers than the species. Meanwhile, Ohio State’s symbol, the Ohio buckeye, has blooms of white to yellowish-green.

Other auction notables include “a pale yellow weigela, a highly sought Franklin tree, and an assortment of unusual pines and maples,” said Tom Chapman, the event’s coordinator and an arboretum volunteer. “My personal favorite is a variegated river birch.”

St. Johns wort, a perennial offered in the sale. (Photo: iStock.)

Proceeds from the sale and auction provide critical funds for the arboretum’s operations and programs, Chapman said.

Nearly a dozen commercial plant, art and garden vendors will be at the event, too, as will several plant-related Ohio State student groups plus WOSU’s “All Sides with Ann Fisher” public affairs radio program broadcasting live from 10 a.m. to noon May 8.

Hours for the event are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 8 and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 9, with the auction part starting at noon both days. Admission both days is free.

Bellflower, a perennial offered in the sale. (Photo: iStock.)

There’s also a sale preview party offering advance sales, discounts, entertainment, and a tree and shrub auction from 5:30-8:30 p.m. May 7 (auction at 6 p.m.) for members of the Friends of Chadwick Arboretum. Membership in the group starts at $40 and lets you bring one guest to the preview party and to other members-only events. You can join at the door May 7 or online at

The preview party, sale and auction all take place at the northwest corner of Lane Avenue and Fred Taylor Drive on the Ohio State campus. Free parking is available near the corner of Lane Avenue and Fyffe Road. Enter the lot off Fyffe. See a map at

Once there, you’ll find plenty of experts to answer your questions, Chapman said.

Paperbark maple, a tree up for bid in the May 7 preview party auction. (Photo: iStock.)

“Our sale is unique because we’re able to engage the educational and intellectual resources of The Ohio State University,” he said. “Our customers get unique access to growers, university staff and students, Master Gardeners, local gardening experts, and highly trained volunteers.

“Where else can you talk to a member of the National Championship Tree Planting Team?”

Chadwick Arboretum’s tree planting team won that title in Texas in January as part of the activities surrounding the Ohio State-Oregon football championship game.

Such volunteers make the sale and arboretum really blossom, Chapman said.

Bears breeches, a perennial offered in the sale. (Photo: iStock.)

“Our staff and students are outstanding, but there simply aren’t enough of them to do everything that needs to be done,” he said. “Our volunteers bring an amazing variety of experience and education to the arboretum, along with creativity, a willingness to take on any task and a firm commitment to the arboretum’s success.

“Our volunteers, supported by the funds raised at the plant sale, keep the arboretum growing and available to everyone.”

For more information, go to, email or call 614-688-3479.

Details on volunteering in the arboretum are at

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CFAES News Team
For more information, contact: 

Mary Maloney

Tom Chapman