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Arbor Day Plant Sale frequently asked questions

A Plant Genius helping shoppers
February 6, 2017

Plant sale frequently asked questions

2017 Arbor Day Plant Sale

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 plants. Expert Plant Geniuses are available throughout the sale to answer questions, suggest plants, and help shoppers narrow their choices.

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.

Q. What is the purpose of the Arbor Day Plant Sale? 
A. Purchases at the Arbor Day Plant Sale support the Arboretum’s mission as the champion of trees in research, conservation, education, and outreach about trees, as well as the care of our 1,700 acres of magnificent trees, gardens, and natural areas.

Q. Where is the sale?
A. The sale takes place in a tent in the Parking Lot 33 on the Arboretum’s West Side, off Illinois Route 53 just north of Interstate Highway 88 in Lisle.

Q. What are the sale hours?
A. The Arbor Day Plant Sale is open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Friday, April 28; from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 29; and from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 30. All day Friday and from 9:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday, the sale is open only to Arboretum members. The sale opens to the public at noon on Saturday, April 29, and all day Sunday, April 30. Nonmembers must pay Arboretum admission to access the Arbor Day Plant Sale.

Q. Does it matter when I shop?
A. Plants are restocked throughout the Arbor Day Plant sale. You do not need to shop on Friday morning for best selection. You will find a rich and varied assortment of expertly chosen, high-quality plants whenever you shop.

Q. What if I can’t shop on Friday morning because of work?
A. If you are an Arboretum member, you can shop until 6 p.m. on Friday, April 28, and from 9:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 29. The sale will be open to the public (after paid admission) from noon to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sunday, April 30. 

Q. I really enjoy being the first to shop any sale. How do I get first pick at the Arbor Day Plant Sale?
A. Arboretum members have exclusive shopping privileges from 9:00 a.m. Friday morning through noon on Saturday. To join or renew your membership in advance, visit our website, call 630-719-2453, or see the Member Services Desk in the Arboretum’s Visitor Center. You also can join or renew on the day of the sale at the Member Sales Tent just outside the entrance of the plant sale tent.

Q. Is there a way I can get in even earlier?
A. If you are an Arboretum member, you may be able to purchase a ticket to the Member Early Access Hour. This is a special members-only opportunity for  ticketdolders to have the sale to themselves for one hour, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on Friday, April 28. Only 200 $20 tickets will be sold. Only ticketholders will be admitted during that hour, before the sale opens to all members at 9:00 a.m. Buy tickets by calling 630-725-2066 or visit the Information Desk in the Visitor Center. Tickets are first come, first served. No refunds. 

Q. Can I place a pre-order for the tent sale 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.

Q. How can I choose among so many plants?
A. Consult expert Plant Geniuses (in yellow Plant Genius T-shirts) who can answer questions, suggest plants, and help you narrow your choices.

Q. How will I get my plants to my car?
A. Arboretum staff members 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 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.

Q:  Can I bring a friend with me to the member-only hours?
A:  The first day and a half of the Arbor Day Plant Sale sale are for Arboretum members only. Guests are not members and cannot buy plants on those days. On Saturday afternoon, April 29, and Sunday, April 30, nonmembers (including your friends) are welcome to shop.

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 weekend tent sale?
A. Member shopping hours are NOT a reciprocal benefit with other institutions. Nonmembers can shop Saturday afternoon and Sunday after being admitted to the Arboretum.

Q.  Do I need to show my membership card to get into the Arbor Day Plant Sale at member-only times?
A:  Yes. Each person must show their valid membership card at the entrance and at the checkout during the member-only shopping times, on Friday, April 28, and on Saturday, April 29, before noon. You also can use the digital membership card in our app for mobile phones.

Q. What if I have lost my membership card?
A. You can request a replacement card at the Visitor Center Membership Services Desk, at online, or by calling 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.