(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Keeping with tradition, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine planted a white oak tree in Governor’s Grove at the Natural Resources Park during the Ohio State Fair. Governor DeWine, who was joined today by First Lady Fran DeWine and several of their grandchildren, is the seventh Ohio governor to add a tree to the grove.
“Trees represent more than just a shady spot on a sunny day, they symbolize the future of the state of Ohio,” said Governor DeWine. “Trees clean the air we breathe and the water we drink, and I am honored to continue this tradition in Governor’s Grove.”
The white oak tree has significant cultural, economic, and ecological importance to Ohio. White oak is a key species in Ohio’s $26-billion forest products industry. It is used today to build some of the finest furniture in the world, right here in the state of Ohio. Ohio is also becoming a major source of oak barrels for the wine and spirits industry.
Governor DeWine has previously planted a red oak and a hickory tree in the grove. Other Ohio governors who have added trees include Jim Rhodes (cucumber magnolia), Richard Celeste (sawtooth oak), George Voinovich (burr oak), Bob Taft (tricolor European beech), Ted Strickland (American linden), and John Kasich (river birch).
“The trees at Governor’s Grove each signify part of our state’s history,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “Every tree planted is a wise investment in Ohio’s future and we are proud to be able to be a part of this great Ohio State Fair tradition.”
The Natural Resources Park Governor’s Grove was established in 1998. The diverse species of trees added by Ohio’s governors over the years helped the Natural Resources Park to become an official arboretum in 2015. With more than 100 species represented, the park is designated as a Level II-accredited Arboretum through the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program.