Plant sale frequently asked questions
2015 Members' Exclusive Plant Catalog Sale
Q: What is the Members’ Exclusive Plant Catalog sale?
A: It is an advance-order sale, open only to members of The Morton Arboretum, that features a selection of 27 trees, shrubs, and perennials chosen by the Arboretum’s expert staff for success in Midwestern gardens. Plants are ordered in advance for pickup on Arbor Day weekend, April 24, 25, and 26, 2015.
Q: Isn’t there another plant sale on Arbor Day?
A: The Arbor Day Plant Sale is a separate event that also takes place on Arbor Day weekend. That sale features a wide variety of plants for sale in a tent in the Visitor Center Parking Lot. The Arbor Day Plant Sale is open to members only on Friday, April 24, and the morning of Saturday, April 25, and is open to the public Saturday afternoon and Sunday, April 26.
Q: Can’t I just wait and buy all my plants at the Arbor Day Plant Sale?
A: The 27 plants in the Members’ Exclusive Plant Catalog Sale are a selection just for members and many will not be available at the Arbor Day Plant Sale. The only way to be sure of getting these plants is to pre-order them through the Members’ Exclusive Plant Catalog Sale.
Q: Should I purchase my plants now or wait?
A: These plants are available in limited quantities. Popular plants sell out quickly. Those who order early will have the best selection of plants and also will have the widest choice of pickup times.
Q: Who can purchase plants in the Members’ Exclusive Plant Catalog sale?
A: Any current, paid-up member of The Morton Arboretum can purchase plants. You will need your member number, which is printed on your membership card. If you have lost your membership card, contact Member Services at 630-719-2453.
Q: What if I’m not a member?
A: Only current Arboretum members can shop in this sale. If you’d like to become an Arboretum member, join online or call Member Services at 630-719-2453.
Q: If I’m a member of another botanical institution, can I buy plants through the Members’ Exclusive Plant Catalog sale?
A: No. The plant sale is NOT a reciprocal benefit to members of other institutions.
Q: I am a new member and I don’t have a membership number yet. How can I pre-order plants?
A: Call 630-719-2454 to place your order. You will not be able to order online until you have been issued a membership number, which can take two to three weeks.
Q: I just renewed my membership. Why won’t my membership number work on your website?
A: A valid membership number is required to place an order. If your membership was renewed within three weeks of its expiration, the membership number may not be active. It will be reactivated once the membership has been processed, which typically takes two to three weeks. If you wish to place an order before then, call 630-719-2454.
Q: How can I find out more about the plants themselves?
A. Attend a free question-and-answer session with Matt Lobdell, head of Collections and curator, on Sunday, March 1, at 2 p.m. in the Visitor Center Sycamore Room.
Q: What if I have more questions about the plants?
A: 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.
Q: Is there an order form I can fill out to help plan my order?
A: You can download an order form and instructions here. 2015 Members' Exclusive Plant Catalog order form and 2015 Members' Exclusive Plant Sale Ordering Instructions
Q: How do I know whether the plant I want is still available?
A: The website of The Arboretum Store’s online store will give you the most reliable and up-to-date information. The online store only will show plants that are available for ordering.
Q: If information in the catalog brochure is different from what I see online, which source is correct?
A: The website provides the most reliable and up-to-date information.
Q: What if I don’t like to shop online?
A: You can order in person at The Arboretum Store in the Visitor Center or by phone at 630-719-2454 during store hours. The store is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in February or 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in March and April.
Q: Can I order by mail?
No, mail orders are not accepted and plants will not be shipped. They must be picked up in person. When you order, you must choose a pickup day and time on Arbor Day weekend, April 24-26.
Q: How do I order online?
A: Start at mortonarb.org/plantsale. You will find links to full information about the Members’ Exclusive Plant Catalog sale, including instructions. Orders are placed through The Arboretum Store’s online store. You can download the instructions and print them out if you like. To order online, you will need your member number, the login and password you plan to use, your preferred pickup time, and a credit card.
Q: When will I know my online order is complete?
A: Your order will not be processed until you click the “Accept” button. A confirmation will be sent to you by email.
Q. Do I have to choose a pickup time in advance?
A: Yes. You must choose a pickup date and time to pick up your plants on Arbor Day weekend when you place your order. The dates and times for pickups appear as items on the plant sale pages in the Arboretum store online. You must choose a date and place it in your shopping cart just as though you were choosing a plant. The pickup time chosen will appear on the order confirmation that you receive by email. You also must choose a pickup time when your order by phone or in person. Pickup times are limited, so those who order early will have the best choice of pickup times as well as plants.
Q: Why are you requiring me to choose a pickup time in advance?
A: Our goal is to spread out plant pickups for greater efficiency and to avoid long lines.
Q: Do I have to register to use The Arboretum Store’s online store for this sale?
A: Yes, buying from the online store requires a one-time registration. To register, you will need your member number, your email address, and the password you plan to use. If you have ordered from The Arboretum Store before, including last year’s plant sale, you can use the login and password you already have established.
Q: I have a user ID and password that I use for classes. Why won’t it work when trying to purchase plants?
A: The system used by our education department is different from the system used in the online store. You may use the same password if you choose, but you must register separately.
Q: Can I pay by check?
A: To pay by check, you must order in person at The Arboretum Store. Online or phone orders require a credit card.
Q: What credit cards are accepted?
A: The Arboretum Store accepts MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express.
Q: Where and when do I pick up the plants I ordered?
A: At your chosen pickup time on April 24, 25, or 26, you will pick up your plants in Parking Lot 21 by the Thornhill Education Center. Arboretum staff can help you get the plants to your car.
Q: What if I find that I can’t pick up my plants at my chosen day and time?
A: Ask a friend or neighbor to pick up the plants for you. Be sure to give them a copy of your email confirmation to speed up the process.
Q: How do I get a free T-shirt?
A: If your Members’ Exclusive Plant Catalog sale purchase totals more than $250, you can receive a free 2015 Arbor Day T-shirt. The T-shirt will be included with your plants when you pick them up. (Plants purchased in the Arbor Day Plant Sale in the Visitor Center parking lot do not count toward the $250 minimum for a T-shirt.)
2015 Arbor Day Plant Sale
Q. How is the Arbor Day Plant Sale different from the Members’ Exclusive Plant Catalog sale?
A: The Arbor Day Plant Sale is held in a tent in the Visitor Center parking lot, with no advance ordering. 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. The Arbor Day Plant Sale will be held on Arbor Day weekend, April 24–26, 2015.
Q: When can I get a list of plants being offered in the Arbor Day Plant Sale?
A: No list will be provided, but when you shop in person, you will find a large variety of trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, grasses, and edibles.
Q: Is the Arbor Day Plant Sale at the same place as the pickup location for the Members Exclusive Plant Catalog sale?
A: 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.
Q: Can a member shop both sales?
Q: Can anyone attend the Arbor Day Plant Sale?
A: The Arbor Day Plant Sale is open only to Arboretum members all day on Friday, April 24, and from 9:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 25. You must bring your membership card for admittance. The sale opens to the public at noon on Saturday, April 25, and all day Sunday, April 26. Nonmembers must pay Arboretum admission to access the Arbor Day Plant Sale.
Q: 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 24, and Saturday, April 25, until noon.
Q: What if I have lost my membership card?
You can request a replacement card at the Visitor Center Membership Services Desk, at mortonarb.org/join-today, or by calling 630-719-2453. The fee to replace a membership card is $5.
Q: Can I bring a friend with me to the Arbor Day Plant Sale?
A: The 1 ½ days of the sale are for Arboretum members only. Guests are not members and cannot buy plants on those days. On Saturday afternoon, April 25, and Sunday, April 26, each card-carrying member may bring one guest into the sale and nonmembers can buy plants. The public also is admitted at that time (with Arboretum admission).
Q: What does admission cost?
A: Admission for nonmembers on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday is $14 for adults ages 18–64, $12 for seniors ages 65 and over, and $9 for youths ages 2–17.