VISIT & explore

Arbor Day Plant Sale frequently asked questions

A Plant Genius helping shoppers
March 30, 2017

Q. What is the Arbor Day Plant Sale?

A. One of the largest seasonal plant sales in the Chicago region, the Arbor Day Plant Sale at The Morton Arboretum offers more than 100,000 expertly chosen plants. Expert Plant Geniuses are available throughout the sale to answer questions and suggest plants. The 2017 plant sale will take place Friday, April 28, through Sunday, April 30.

Q. I’m a member. When can I shop?
A. The sale is open only to Arboretum members on Friday, April 28, from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and on Saturday, April 29, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Each shopper must have a free timed ticket to reserve an entry time. The number of tickets at each entry time is limited to help manage crowds and improve the shopping experience.

Q. How do I order member sale tickets?
A. Order your timed ticket online, by calling the Ticket Line at 630-725-2066, or by visiting the Information Desk in the Visitor Center. Tickets are now available. You must have a valid membership number to order. On the day of the sale, you must bring your ticket and your valid membership card. Your membership must be valid at the time you purchase tickets and on the date of the sale. Tickets are first come, first served. When the tickets available for a particular entry time are sold out, no more will be offered for that time.  Timed tickets are sold out.

Q. When can I start shopping?
A. At the time listed on your ticket.

Q. Can I bring a friend?
A. Each member can order two tickets. Every shopper must have a ticket and a valid membership card or have a ticket and be accompanied by a member with a valid membership card.

Q. If I get there earlier than the time on my ticket, can I start shopping?
A. No. You cannot enter before the time on your ticket. You may enter after the time on your ticket.

Q. If I don’t get a ticket for an early time slot, will you run out of plants?
A. Plants will be restocked all through the sale, so every shopper will be able to choose from a rich and varied assortment of plants expertly selected by Arboretum staff.

Q. Is there a way I can shop before 9:30 a.m. Friday?
A. Arboretum members may purchase $20 tickets to the Member Early Access Hour. This special opportunity is limited to 225 members who will have the sale tent to themselves from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on Friday, April 28. Members can buy tickets online, by calling the Ticket Line at 630-725-2066, or at the Information Desk in the Visitor Center. Tickets gare on sale now. Order early; these tickets will sell out quickly. A valid membership number is required. Each member may purchase two tickets. Nonmembers may shop, if they have a ticket and if they are accompanied by a member with a valid membership card. There will be no refunds for late arrivals. Early access hour tickets are sold out.

Q. What if I have lost my membership card?
A. You can request a replacement card at the Visitor Center Member Services Desk or by calling the Membership Hotline at 630-719-2453. The fee to replace a membership card is $5. You also can use the digital membership card in our app for mobile phones.

Q. What if I can’t shop on Friday morning because of work?
A. The final entry time for members on Friday afternoon is 4:30 p.m. Members also can order tickets to shop Saturday, April 29, from 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The sale also will be open to members of the public who have paid Arboretum admission on Sunday, April 30. Members can shop during the public hours, too. Plants are restocked throughout the sale!

Q. Why do I need a timed ticket to shop?
A. The new process is intended to improve the experience of shopping during member-only hours. With timed tickets, the sale will be less crowded and more orderly, and the experience of shopping will be more efficient and enjoyable.

Q. I’m not a member. Can I shop on Friday or Saturday?
A. Only Arboretum members can shop on Friday and Saturday, and they must have pre-ordered free, timed tickets. To join or renew so you can order tickets,  call the Membership Hotline at 630-719-2453, visit the Member Services Desk in the Arboretum Visitor Center, or join online.

Q. Where is the sale?
A. The location has changed this year. The sale takes place in a tent in the Parking Lot 33 on the Arboretum’s West Side. Signs will direct you to the parking area and the sale tent.

Q. If I come to shop during the non-member hours, can I enter the sale for free?
Nonmembers must pay admission to enter the Arboretum; there is no additional fee for the sale. For members, admission is always free. Timed tickets will not be required during public hours.

Q. What kind of plants will be for sale?
A. The Arbor Day Plant Sale offers hundreds of species and varieties of trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses, ferns, vegetables, and herbs. They are specially chosen by the Arboretum’s expert staff for Chicago-area gardens. Many are grown at the Arboretum. The selection is refreshed throughout each day.

Q. Can I place a pre-order for plants on the website or by phone or mail?
A. No, you cannot shop in advance for the Arbor Day Plant Sale. You must shop in person.

Q. Can I get a list of the plants that will be available at the tent sale?
A. No advance list of the plants will be made available. When you arrive, you will find hundreds of kinds of plants to choose from. Expert Plant Geniuses will be on hand to assist you. 

Q. How will I get my plants to my car?
A. Arboretum staff members and volunteers will help you transport your plants and load them into your car.

Q. What credit cards are accepted?
A. The Arboretum accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa.

Q. What does admission to the Arboretum cost?
A. Admission to the Arboretum for nonmembers is $14 for adults ages 18–64, $12 for seniors ages 65 and over, and $9 for youths ages 2–17. Once nonmembers have paid admission to the Arboretum, admission to the plant sale on Sunday is free. 

Q. I am a member of another organization with which The Morton Arboretum has a reciprocal admissions arrangement. Can I buy plants at the Arbor Day sale?
Free Arboretum admission is a benefit of these reciprocal arrangements, but member shopping hours are not. You must shop during the public hours on Sunday.