Bursts of reds, golds, oranges, browns, grays and greens fill the landscape at OPPD’s arboretum, located at 108th and Blondo streets. But no need to alarm firefighters.
It’s the annual fall display of color, and the utility invites the public to stroll the two miles of walking paths at the arboretum, take in the beauty and learn more about trees. It’s also a favorite backdrop for local photographers.
The site contains more than 1,000 trees and shrubs or more than 200 different species, each marked with their name, species, height and spread at full maturity. The utility opened the site in 2004 to educate the public about the proper placement of trees and their energy conservation benefits.
OPPD forester Andrew Edson also suggests visitors closely check the tree markers, especially along the winding path that runs northeast of the substation.
“We have a special area with trees connected to some famous historical people,” Edson said. “The ‘Elvis Presley Sycamore’ sprouted from a seed handpicked from the Graceland Estate of Elvis Presley in Memphis, Tenn.”
Edson also pointed out a White Ash grown from a seed handpicked from the Harriet Beecher Stowe house in Cincinnati, Ohio, and a Bur Oak grown from an acorn off a tree near Simms Cave, made famous by Mark Twain.
Spice it up
“You see a lot of the same trees around town, but our arboretum shows a variety of other plantings that can prosper in our area,” Edson added.
“We encourage people to come see for themselves before adding to their landscape.”