VISIT & explore

Arbor Day Plant Sale frequently asked questions

What is The Morton Arboretum’s Arbor Day Plant Sale?
The Arbor Day Plant Sale is an opportunity to choose from among hundreds of trees, shrubs, perennials, herbs, and vegetables, all chosen by Arboretum experts for success in Chicago-area gardens. They are sold each Arbor Day weekend in a tent in the Arboretum’s Visitor Center parking lot at 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle, Ill. This year, the plant sale it will be held on April 25–27, 2014.

How is the Arbor Day Plant Sale different from the Members’ Exclusive Plant Catalog sale?
The Arbor Day Plant Sale is held in a tent, with no advance ordering. You will select your plants on the spot. The Members’ Exclusive Plant Catalog sale is an advance sale for members only, with plant pickup on the same weekend as the Arbor Day Plant Sale. Ordering for the 2014 Members’ Exclusive Plant Catalog sale is now closed.

Can anyone attend the Arbor Day Plant Sale?
Yes, but the Arbor Day Plant Sale is open only to Arboretum members from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, April 25, and from 9:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 26. You must show your membership card for admittance. The sale opens to the public from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 26, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 27. During public times, nonmembers still must pay admission to enter the Arboretum before going to the Arbor Day Plant Sale.

Do I need to show my membership card to get into the Arbor Day Plant Sale at member-only times?
A:  Yes. Members will be asked to show their cards at the tent entrance and at the checkout during the member-only shopping times, on Friday, April 25, and Saturday, April 26, until noon.

What if I’m not a member?
You can join on the spot. Representatives of the Membership Department will be at the entrance of the tent on Friday and Saturday morning. Or join now online; see mortonarb.org/join.

What if my membership has lapsed or I have lost my membership card?
You will be able to renew your membership at the plant sale tent on Friday and Saturday morning. You also can join, renew or get a temporary card at the Member Services Desk in the Visitor Center or at the Welcome Cart in the entrance breezeway.

Can I bring a friend with me to the Arbor Day Plant Sale?
Yes, if your membership level entitles you to bring a guest or guests, we look forward to meeting and welcoming them during the member-only times. We will ask each guest to fill out a “non-member information card” at the entrance to the tent.

What does Arboretum admission cost?
Admission for nonmembers on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday is $12 for adults ages 18–64, $11 for seniors ages 65 and over, and $9 for youths ages 2–17. There is no charge for general admissions for members. If I’m a member of another botanical institution, can I buy plants during member-only times?
No. The plant sale is not a reciprocal benefit to members of other institutions.

When can I get a list of plants being offered in the Arbor Day Plant Sale?
We do not provide a list of plants , but when you shop in person, you will find a large variety of trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, grasses, and edibles.

How does the sale work?
At the entrance, you will pick up a cardboard box to hold the plants you choose. A volunteer will write your number on your box.

What if I fill my box?

Place your box in the area marked “Plant Holding Area” and get another one so you can keep shopping the large variety of plants that are available. Make sure your number is written on all your boxes.

What if I have a question or need plant advice?
Look for people in bright green T-shirts that say “Plant Genius.” They are Arboretum staff and trained volunteers who are there to help answer your plant specific questions.

How can I find a particular kind of plant?
Look for signs hanging from the ceiling to find the right section. Perennials are divided by the light conditions they need—sun or shade. Shrubs and trees have their own sections. Plants are arranged within sections by their Latin-based botanical names. A Plant Genius also can help you find what you need.

I don’t know Latin! I only know common names! How do I find my plant?
Ask a Plant Genius, but both Latin and common names are on each plant tag.

How do I find out whether a plant will work for me?
Each plant has a sign with plant information. . It will help you decide if the plant is right for your site and for you. If you’re still not sure, ask a Plant Genius.

How do I check out?
When you’re ready to pay, get in line and volunteers will move your plants through the checkout process. Then you can take your plants from the Plant Pick-up Area. We have volunteers to also help you get your plants to your car.

What methods of payment can I use?
You can pay with cash, check, debit, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and Arboretum gift cards.

Will I get the member discount?
The members’ discount does not apply at the plant sale. However, you also will not pay the usual sales tax.

Can I get help to haul my plants to my car?
Arboretum staff will be available to help get your plants to your car from the Plant Pick-up Area.

Is the Arbor Day Plant Sale at the same place as the pickup location for the Members Exclusive Plant Catalog Sale?
No. The Members’ Exclusive Plant Catalog sale pickup is at Parking Lot 21 on the West Side. The Arbor Day Plant Sale is in the Visitor Center Parking Lot on the East Side.

Can a member shop both sales?
If you are picking up plants that you preordered from the Members’ Exclusive Plant Catalog, you are welcome to also shop at the Arbor Day Plant Sale.

What if I have more questions about the plants?
Stop by or call our Plant Clinic at 630-719-2424 for information about the plants, how to use them in the garden, and what other plants go well with them. The Plant Clinic, just across from the Visitor Center, is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in February and March and Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning in April. You can also check out information on our website at mortonarb.org/plantadvice or send us an email at plantclinic@mortonarb.org.