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3 Reasons To Visit The Stanley Rowe Arboretum In Cincinnati

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Tucked away in the prestigious neighborhood of Indian Hill, The Stanley Rowe Arboretum is a hidden gem in Cincinnati waiting for guests to discover. Stroll through 8.9 acres of magnificent, well-maintained gardens, taking time to admire the diverse collection of trees and shrubs.

Stanley M Rowe Arboretum
Stanley M Rowe Arboretum

The mission of Stanley M. and Dorothy Rowe Arboretum is “To provide a beautiful display of evergreens and companion planting in a setting that imparts education about the plants and the history of the Arboretum.”

Where Is The Stanley Rowe Arboretum?

The Stanley Rowe Arboretum is tucked away in the Village of Indian Hill on Muchmore Rd. The Arboretum is not far from the popular 50 West Brewery.  A sign on Muchmore Rd. will direct you to the Arboretum, which sits back with residential housing.

Rowe Arboretum Cincinnati
Rowe Arboretum Cincinnati

Address: 4600 Muchmore Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45243

When Is The Best Time To Visit The Stanley Rowe Arboretum?

While the Arboretum is open year-round, the best times to visit are spring and fall, when the Arboretum is full of color. The blooming trees are magnificent to behold in spring, while in autumn, the arboretum becomes ablaze in fall colors. We even included the Stanley Rowe Arboretum on our Fall Foliage Driving Tour of Cincinnati.

Fall Spots In Rowe Arboretum
Fall Spots In Rowe Arboretum


The Stanley Rowe Arboretum is open seven days a week.

March thru October 7:00 am – 7:30 pm

November thru February 8:00 am – 5:30 pm

Things To Know Before Visiting Stanley Rowe Arboretum

  • Admission to the Arboretum is FREE.
  • The Village of Indian Hill owns the Arboretum, a non-profit organization funded through visitors and endowments. A donation box is by the Arboretum garage door should you wish to leave one so graciously. 
  • There is not to be any picking or cutting of any plants without approval.
  • The Arboretum is in a residential neighborhood. Please respect the neighboring properties by staying in the maintained areas of the Arboretum.
  • Pets are welcome at the Arboretum; however, they must be on a leash, and droppings must be removed.

 The History Behind The Stanley Rowe Arboretum Is Fascinating

Cincinnati Arboretum
Cincinnati Arboretum

The Arboretum was founded in 1926 by Stanley M. Rowe, Sr., and his wife, Dorothy Snowden Rowe. Their love of trees began with Dorothy acting on a single article. The article mentioned that the state of Ohio was advertising giving trees away to citizens who wanted to control hillside erosion. With that advertisement, they acquired 4700 baby trees from the Ohio Agriculture Experiment Station, Department of Forestry. They started collecting trees and shrubs to reforest a ridge previously used for farming and pasture.

Walking trails in Cincinnati
Walking trails in Cincinnati

Their first trees were Northern Red Oaks, European Larch, Eastern White Pine, and Scots Pine. The Rowe property eventually expanded to 170 acres containing some 1,800 different species of trees and shrubs. The Arboretum’s primary focus is on its conifers collection. After years of trial-and-error plantings, Rowe’s hobby grew to an accumulation of 5,000 different types of trees and shrubs.

However, the secondary focus of the Stanley Rowe Arboretum is companion plantings, as they have one of the largest collections of lilacs and crabapples in South Western Ohio.

Unique Features

Redwood Slice In Cincinnati OHRowe Arboretum was one of the lucky few arboretas to receive some of the original 1948 seedling Dawn Redwoods from Arnold Arboretum found in Sichuan province, China. They also have an authentic giant West Coast redwood slice on display. Mr. Stanley Rowe purchased two of these, one for the Arboretum, and donated one to the Cincinnati Museum Center.

Rowe liked to experiment and grow everything that could live in this climate. Conifers were one of Rowe’s favorite plant types. So much so that The American Horticultural Society honored Rowe in 1982 with an amateur citation for the Arboretum and commended its “remarkable collection of conifers, crabapples, magnolias, oaks, and beeches”. It has been designated as a Conifer Reference Garden by the American Conifer Society.

Who Was Stanley M. Rowe

Stanley M. Rowe was born in Cincinnati in 1890, the son of Caspar and Fanny (Sarran) Rowe. At age 14, Caspar went to work as an office boy for Charles Fleischmann, who had just started his yeast business. He rose to become General Manager and Treasurer of the Fleischmann Company. Stanley attended Avondale public school and received his degree from Yale.

Stanley and his wife Dorothy Snowden Rowe accidentally discovered their love of trees. After Dorothy responded to an article in the paper, he died in 1987 at 97 but continues to inspire others through this Arboretum. 

 Stroll Through The Immaculate Gardens 

Gravel walking paths at Rowe Arboretum
Gravel walking paths

The Stanley Rowe Arboretum is meticulously maintained, from the impressive gated entrance to the well-maintained trails. The gardens appear to hop out of a magazine with gravel pathways, shady trees, and beautiful blooms for visitors. The Arboretum is fenced, with the pathways circling and cutting throughout. In addition, the Arboretum is not usually crowded as it is off the beaten path. However, running and bicycling are not permitted on the pathways.

 Take In A Diverse Collection of Trees and Shrubs

Stanley M Rowe Arboretum Cincinnati
Discover tons of different shrubs and trees

One of the most impressive parts of the Arboretum is the vast collection of trees and shrubs found throughout the property. Each has a label and name so guests can identify the different species. Don’t forget to visit the original giant West Coast redwood slice, which can be found off a pathway. 

It is fascinating to witness how many different types of trees can survive in this climate. A walk through the pathways will yield many natural treasures, such as acorns, pinecones, seedpods, and other fun finds. It is perfect for children and can lead to a great learning opportunity. 

In conclusion, a visit to the Stanley M. Rowe Arboretum must be on every Cincinnati bucket list. 

Rowe Arboretum
Plan a visit to Rowe Arboretum

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Stanley M Rowe Arboretum

Stanley Rowe Arboretum

Stanley M Rowe Arboretum