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Wide Variety Of Native, Exotic Trees Creates Multiple “Peak” Viewing Weeks

LISLE, IL – Fall just began dishing up its annual eye candy with trees displaying hints of yellows, oranges, reds, and purples; and with wildflowers blooming in between the trees at The Morton Arboretum. Seventeen hundred beautiful acres feature 186,000 trees and other plants formally registered into the living collections, plus thousands more in the woodlands. With trees from 40 countries, it’s like a world of fall color, all in one place. And something is peaking every week in autumn.

“The wide variety of trees from around the world extends the color season’s length and provides a broader array of colors to enjoy,” says Ed Hedborn, Arboretum botanist and “Fall Color Scout.” His weekly reports on the tree museum’s changing hues are available via[masked]-7955.

The Arboretum hosts rare exotics including maples native to Europe, Korea, China and Japan; hornbeams native to Europe and Iran; oaks native to Asia; beeches native to Crimea; zelkovas native to Azerbaijan; and many other species that aren’t found in most parks, forest preserves, or city blocks in the Midwest.

Maples now show a glimmer of red, leading Hedborn to say it’s time to start taking walks between the Maple and Beech collections to view the colors as they change daily. Also, sumacs are well on their way to full blown red color, hackberries are turning yellow, Virginia creeper shows hints of purple and red, and pawpaw is becoming yellow.

Refusing to be outdone by the beautiful, colorful leaves, lovely flowers are blooming now including blue asters, white snakeroot, and goldenrods.

In early October, expect the kings of fall color, the sugar maples, to bring yellows, oranges, and reds to the landscape. Also turning a variety of colors are katsura, corktree, Kentucky coffeetree, redbud, green ash, white ash, larches, beeches, and Japanese maples.

Through mid-October, look for sugar, silver, Freeman, Miyabe, and red maples; along with hickories, bur oak, persimmon, sassafras, lindens, and black gum to be the “scene stealers.” Hickories, cherries, hazelnuts, and witch-hazels are also in color.

In late October and early November, check out the white oaks turning wine purple, pin and red oaks becoming red, and the callery and Ussurian pear trees bringing up the rear, holding onto their colors until the frost.

Fall Color at The Morton Arboretum is a multi-sensory experience extending beyond the full palette of colors to see. “Shuffle your feet through the fallen leaves. The experience takes you back to childhood... Visitors can hike the 16 miles of trails, drive or bicycle the nine miles of roads, or catch an Arboretum tram to take in the stunning vistas.

The best chance for spectacular color would come with a repeated combination of bright, sunny, warm days and cool nights. Plants use environmental clues such as shortening day length to get ready for winter, shutting down before the ground freezes. The fall color we see is part of this normal process...


The 1,700-acre outdoor museum features magnificent collections of 4,117 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum's beautiful natural landscapes, gardens... Are Conveniently located at I-88 and Rte. 53 in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. Central Time until sunset.


If you belong to any other gardens in the "reciprocal system", you may be able to get into the Morton Arboretum free... see this link! You will need to bring your membership card/info with you to be able to enter for free...

$12 Adults ages 18–64 $11 Seniors ages 65+ $9 Youth ages 2–17

MEETUP SPOT: EAST SIDE VISITOR'S CENTER, OFF RT. 53 (PLEASE SEE MAP BELOW FOR EXACT DETAILS!)Let's meet outside the visitor center's gift shop at 2:15pm. We will go in together at 2:30pm

Please leave your camera equiptment in your car because we will drive to a few chosen places in the park for good color after we meet and greet at the visitor center... Thank You!


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  • Cathy

    Had a great time with a wonderful group of people.

    October 20, 2012

  • martin a.

    Good times!! Glenn!

    October 20, 2012

  • Glenn

    Had to park in P4, I could not find you, but I did fine Martin, so Martin and I walk around for over 3 hours taking alot of great pictures (hopefully), with my new camera Nikon D5100.

    October 20, 2012

  • Sandi

    Great day and great people! Awesome fall colors!

    October 20, 2012

  • martin a.

    Had park far too where else can we meet?

    October 20, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Had to park far away. May not make it to visitor ctr by 2:30.

    October 20, 2012

  • Sandi

    Hello Nature Photogs!!! The weather looks great for our shoot tomorrow! A crisp fall day so please dress warm! I'm really looking forward to seeing everybody and meeting the new folks!!! We have a great group going so it should be a lot of fun!!! I will be wearing a name tag with SANDI "NPM" on it, if you want to wear a name tag too that would be great! We have several new folks going and that will really help us all! Thanks everyone, see ya tomorrow!

    October 19, 2012

  • Sandi

    IMPORTANT: Please leave your camera equiptment in your car because we will drive to a few chosen places in the park for good color after we meet and greet at the visitor center... Thank You!

    October 17, 2012

  • Sandi

    Bob and I went to check this place out last Sunday and there is a lot of trees that will still be at peak and changing for our Meetup this weekend! :0) Especially some lovely Sugar Maples on the East Side!!!

    October 17, 2012

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