Arboretum plant sale is Sept. 24

A pawpaw tree in autumn. The tree is one of many varieties available at the Sept. 24 plant sale.
A pawpaw tree in autumn. The tree is one of many varieties available at the Sept. 24 plant sale.

Rather than waiting for spring to plant, the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum recommends fall planting. To encourage this practice, the arboretum hosts a plant sale, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sept. 24 on East Campus.

"Plants are less stressed by the heat, more likely to develop a strong root system and gardeners will be way ahead of the game next spring," said Bob Henrickson, horticulture program coordinator. Henrickson and other horticulturists will be available to answer questions on landscape design, plant selection, native plants, rain gardens, pests, diseases and other challenges.

Proceeds from the sale help sustain the arboretum's mission, and fund a variety of related programs and services.

The sale will be at greenhouses on the north side of East Campus. Signage directing people to the greenhouses will be posted from the north entrance (near 38th and Huntington/Leighton streets).

A complete plant list is available at

Pawpaw trees will be available. The pawpaw is a fast-growing, colonizing tree with large tropical-looking leaves. Native to Nebraska, it grows 20-25 feet high and 15 feet wide. Edible fruits look and taste like bananas and ripen in early fall.

One of the best trees for fall color, Henrickson said, is black gum. It grows to about 30 feet high and has waxy leaves that turn lustrous red in fall. It tends to have a very horizontal branching pattern and, important after this summer's weather, is resistant to both drought and short term flooding. For a much larger, shade-providing tree, Henrickson recommends London planetree, a tough street tree that grows to 100 feet high.

Other good additions to the landscape include an "old-fashioned" small shrub, mockorange, with fragrant flowers in early spring; native dwarf leadplant or pale purple coneflower. For shady areas, Culver's root has delicate white flowers in mid-summer and the bright-blossomed turtlehead blooms in late summer.