Midwest Tree and Shrub Conference: Landscapes for a Changing Future

Register Now on the Chicago Botanic Garden website.

Presented in partnership between The Morton Arboretum and the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Get the latest on selection and care of hardy, versatile trees and shrubs from the best speakers and plant experts in the business. A can’t-miss day for anyone interested in trees and shrubs, from avid home gardeners and landowners to green-industry professionals such as nursery practitioners, arborists, estate gardeners, land managers, landscape designers, landscape architects, landscape contractors, parks and recreation professionals, and municipal foresters. The conference will take place at the Chicago Botanic Garden in the Alsdorf Auditorium.

9:00 to 9:15 a.m.
Welcome Remarks 

9:15 to 10:15 a.m.
Creating Gardens of Beauty and Meaning: The Art of Plant Placement
Julie Moir Messervy, landscape designer and author, Saxtons River, Vermont

Award-winning landscape designer and author Julie Moir Messervy returns to the Chicago Botanic Garden to present her perspectives on how to create gardens of beauty and meaning. Using examples from her studio’s public, institutional, and residential projects and those of other designers from her many books, she breaks down the art of planting design into a series of visual ideas and resonant images that can become the organizing strategy needed to create great landscape designs.

10:15 to 10:45 a.m.
Coffee Break

10:45 to 11:30 a.m.
Magnolias for the Midwest 
Andrew Bunting, assistant director, and director of plant collections of the Chicago Botanic Garden 

Known for their beauty, magnolias will be reviewed with a deep look into the breadth of the magnolias that will thrive in Zone 5 and colder. We will cover ornamental attributes for landscape use and how best to cultivate magnolias, as well as other cultural considerations. Explore the many attributes of dozens of magnolias, including old favorites as well as the newest and most exciting cultivars and species.

11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Future Impacts of Invasive Species and Climate Change on Pest Management in Landscapes
Dr. Michael J. Raupp, professor of entomology, University of Maryland

We will review recent introductions of invasive pests and discuss their impact on managed landscapes. We will examine how a warming world can alter ranges of pests, seasonal phenology of insects and mites, and interactions among plants, herbivores, and their natural enemies. Special emphasis will be placed on invasive species and urban heat islands.

12:15 to 1:15 p.m.

1:15 to 2:30 p.m.
Tough Trees for our Evolving Climate
Guy Sternberg, co-founder, Starhill Forest Arboretum

A brief introduction to climate science as it affects trees, with a presentation of some trees that are most likely to be successful in the unknown future of the Midwest. Explore this selection of landscape trees and see some memorable examples of how adaptable they can be to urban conditions, poor draining, soil problems, and that gorilla-in-the-closet concern for the future: climate destabilization. We will emphasize native species, but also touch upon some others to consider, or to avoid.

2:30 to 3:15 p.m.
Plant Exploration:  Lessons from the Field
Paul W. Meyer, the F. Otto Haas executive director, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania

Paul Meyer will highlight trees and shrubs collected on his many expeditions in Korea, China, Armenia, and the Republic of Georgia with observations especially applicable to the Midwest. He will share anecdotes of the culture and natural history from regions he visited.

3:15 to 3:30 p.m.
Closing Comments 

Click here for Speaker Bios.

Notes: CEUs available for American Society of Landscape Architects, Illinois Chapter, APLD, International Society of Arboriculture. Held indoors. Limit 200.



To book a room at the Renaissance Chicago North Shore Hotel under the conference block at $139 per night, click here. To receive the block rate, reserve your room before August 17.

Course number: 

Thursday, September 7, 2017, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The symposium will be held in the Alsdorf Auditorium of the Regenstein Center at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois. Directions to the symposium can be found at


Registration fee includes lunch, breaks, and free parking at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

$96.00 members
$120.00 nonmembers
To register and pay for the course, please visit the REGISTRATION page on the Chicago Botanic Garden website. 

Generously sponsored by

bartlett tree experts