The Jane Decker Arboretum provides students, visitors, and members of the Delaware community with a living laboratory for learning about plant identification and diversity, arboriculture, landscape design, and ecology.

Today, the Jane Decker Arboretum includes 105 species of trees and woody plants from temperate regions around the world. Tours of the arboretum may be scheduled by contacting OWU Professor of Botany David Johnson at 740-368-3505 or at


Rev. The Rev. Dr. Joseph Creighton

In the 1870s, OWU friend and patron the Rev. Dr. Joseph H. Creighton, a local Methodist minister, donated his own funds and raised money to establish an arboretum on Ohio Wesleyan’s campus.

He sought the advice of botany scholars to find trees from various foreign countries. Some of the early trees still survive.

Jane Decker, OWU professor of botany

In 1988, the OWU Arboretum was renamed the Jane Decker Arboretum in memory of OWU Botany Professor Jane Decker, who died of cancer that year.

Decker was one of a number of faculty members who have used the arboretum over the years to teach plant taxonomy and ecology during the 140-year history of this living laboratory.


When you support the arboretum, you help build this teaching resource, enhance the campus environment with shade and fall color, provide urban habitat for birds and other wildlife, and even help draw down atmospheric carbon dioxide.

How to Donate

Contributions of any level may be made to support the arboretum development plan.

  • You may make your gift online. Under “Other” list Jane Decker Arboretum.

For questions, contact Advancement Operations at 740-368-3315 or