WOOSTER, Ohio — A research campus in northeast Ohio is getting really crabby — and that’s a good thing.
More than 600 red, pink and white crabapple trees at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster — considered the largest collection of such trees in the U.S. — are nearly at peak bloom.
“They’re just a few days away from full flower,” said Paul Snyder, a program assistant with OARDC’s Secrest Arboretum. “I think they’ll hit full flower on Wednesday or Thursday given our predicted weather.”
The center is part of The Ohio State University and its College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
The trees’ peak should continue through the coming weekend, giving people a good chance to come see the blossoms, Snyder said.
But there’s also a chance of showers and thunderstorms, which could knock down some of the blooms, between now and then.
Late winter’s record warmth, meanwhile, which was followed by a big freeze, left the crabapple flowers unharmed.
“They’re looking just as good as in previous years,” Snyder said. “We lost only a few, if any, because of that warmup and cold spell.”
In all, the trees represent more than 150 different crabapple varieties. OARDC plant researchers do long-term studies of how the trees grow in Ohio, how well they resist pests and diseases, and other traits important to homeowners, landscapers and commercial plant growers.
Visiting OARDC, which is at 1680 Madison Ave. in Wooster, is free and open to the public seven days a week dawn to dusk.
Signs on the campus point the way to the arboretum, which also has an entrance off Secrest Road. Most of the crabapple trees are in the arboretum, but many, too, are on the surrounding campus.
Wooster is about 30 miles east of Akron, 60 miles south of Cleveland and 95 miles north of Columbus.
For more information, call 330-263-3761 or go to secrest.osu.edu.