Secrest Arboretum Plant Sale Is Saturday, Has These 4 Standouts and Hundreds More


WOOSTER, Ohio — Paul Snyder has a new favorite redbud. And you can buy it very soon. And also many of its friends.

Snyder is a program assistant at Wooster’s Secrest Arboretum, which is holding its annual Plant Discovery Day fundraising event this Saturday, May 14.

The event features a sale and auctions of more than 400 kinds of trees, shrubs, herbs, annuals and perennials. Admission is free and open to the public. There’s also a pre-sale for members of the Friends of Secrest Arboretum on Friday, May 13.

Proceeds from the pre-sale, sale and auctions will help maintain the arboretum’s 115 acres of public plant collections, green space and gardens.

Features uncommon, hard-to-find plants

“Our plant sale is different from other plant sales in that we have types that are hard to find or aren’t commonly grown in the home landscape,” said Snyder, whose favorites this year include:

  • Appalachian Red eastern redbud: “It has an abundance of neon pink flowers. It’s now my top pick of standard redbuds.”
  • Ball O’ Fire hornbeam, an upright selection of the native eastern hornbeam: “It has outstanding red-orange fall color. It’s the first native hornbeam to have red fall color.”
  • Fragrant abelia, or Abelia mosanensis, a large shrub that gets 6-8 feet tall: “It has extremely fragrant flowers in spring. Its fall color is outstanding.”
  • Mt. Airy fothergilla, a native shrub with bottlebrush-like white flowers, blue-green summer foliage and outstanding fall color: “This is one of my favorite shrubs for the landscape. It can grow in full sun to part shade.”

Snyder’s top picks in the auctions include a clump-forming goldenrod called Solar Cascade, a pink-flowered wisteria named Pink Ice, and the disease- and insect-free Berry Blue honeyberry, which produces large, sweet, blue-colored fruit resembling blueberries.

Lists of what will be sold are online

Links to lists of all the sale and auction plants are at

Hours for the event are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside Fisher Auditorium at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), 1680 Madison Ave. The May 13 pre-sale is from 3-4 p.m. at the same location.

The arboretum is part of OARDC, which in turn is part of The Ohio State University and its College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Bug zoo, free plant for kids

The event will also have outside plant and art vendors, Bob’s Omahoma Barbecue of Wooster as a food vendor, and a bug zoo and a free tomato plant for children.

Details on joining the Friends of Secrest Arboretum so you can attend the pre-sale are at

Call 330-263-3761 for more information.

CFAES News Team
For more information, contact: 

Paul Snyder