Tree, plant admirers should plan trip to Elmore

If you think of Elmore as one of those places you go through on the way to somewhere else, think again.

Elmore is the home of the Schedel Arboretum and Gardens, a lovely place to visit on a summer day. I spent a morning there last week with other members of the Sandusky Valley Herb Society, and it was a very enjoyable experience.

On the day we visited, there were volunteers and staff members planting annuals in the large flower beds. This is an enormous task because there are around 15,000 annuals planted each year. This summer’s choice is pink angelonia.

The arboretum site was the home of Joseph and Marie Schedel, who lived there until 1989. They established a foundation that would ensure the preservation of the property and the natural beauty of the surroundings on the banks of the Portage River.

The Schedels traveled widely and brought home trees and other plants from more than 100 countries. They especially were interested in Japanese gardens, and their version holds more than 20 varieties of Japanese maples, ensuring beautiful color in the fall.

The Japanese garden also contains a waterfall with bridges crossing the water and Torii across the path. There are many species of red and black pine trees and a number of dwarf and weeping plants.

The trees, of course, are the main features, and include a stand of yellow groove bamboo and one of Douglas fir. Along the water’s edge are four bald cypress, surrounded by the typical cypress knees. Other unusual trees are the cucumber magnolia, an umbrella magnolia and a katsura. A large Ponderosa pine, a multi-stemmed mugho pine and three Yoshino cherries also are worth seeing.

All the trees are identified by labels.

A grove of dawn redwoods is extremely impressive, and these specimens are among the oldest on the American continent, descended from seeds brought from China by Harvard scientists after World War II.

There is a structure dedicated to bonsai, trees miniaturized by different methods of pruning and growth, with the oldest specimen in the collection being more than 70 years old.

Other features include the greenhouse, an ornamental kitchen garden, a rose garden, a tropical garden, a perennial garden and spaces dedicated to iris and peonies.

Statuary around the property either enhances the scene, or distracts from it, depending on the visitor’s point of view.

This is a gem to visit and is less than an hour from Tiffin. You can find more information at

Janet Del Turco is a local gardener and a graduate of the Ohio State University Master Gardener program.

Contact her at: