October 4, 2013
Lisle, Ill. (Oct. 4, 2013) – Each year, The Morton Arboretum’s trees are a prime stop for area leaf-peepers, as many of the Arboretum’s 4,200 varieties of trees turn a brilliant palette of vibrant reds, oranges and golds. Ed Hedborn is the Arboretum’s official Fall Color Scout and reports on the Arboretum’s color each week during the season.
For the latest fall color updates from the Arboretum, call the Bloom 'n Color Hotline at 630-719-7955.
Arboretum Fall Color Updates from Ed:
The week of October 4-10
Warm, bright sunny days and cool nights are helping start our color change season. The leaves of hackberries and redbuds are beginning to turn yellow, while sumacs, poison-ivy and Virginia creeper vines in sunny locations are turning scarlet. The leaves of American ashes (especially ‘Autumn Purple’) are dark purple. In woodland areas, a few late fall-blooming asters still show shades of white and blue.
Heading to The Morton Arboretum? Here are the best spots to look for fall color.
East Side:
  • Visitor Center: Red shows on some of the Freeman maples in the parking lot medians. White ash leaves are turning dark purple and witch-hazels are beginning to show some yellow.
  • Meadow Lake: Prairie grasses are turning yellow, tan, and russet and their interesting seed heads are opening.
  • Northern Illinois and Midwest Collections: Hackberries and Kentucky coffeetrees are turning yellow.
  • Frost Hill: Sumacs in the Northern Illinois Collection are red and buckeyes are turning brownish-yellow. European beeches are starting to turn yellowish-green.
  • Buckeyes: Buckeyes are turning brownish-yellow and losing some leaves.
  • Maple and Oak Collections: Some Freeman maples and common hackberries are turning yellow. ‘Autumn Applause’ white ashes are dark purple.
  • East Woods: White- and blue-blooming fall asters are finishing up. A few oaks and walnuts are dropping their nuts.
  • Maple and Beech Collections: There is a scattered start to fall color in the Maple Collection. Beech leaves just beginning to lighten.
  • Appalachia, China and Japan Collections: Flowering dogwoods are showing reddish- purple in their leaves.
  • Elm, Hackberry, Linden and Corktree Collections: Some elms are starting to turn a lighter green. Common hackberries are yellow and corktrees are showing yellowish-green. A wash of red is starting to show on staghorn sumacs.
West Side:
  • West Side Main Route: Most trees are still summer green with white and blue blooming fall asters. Some Virginia creeper and poison-ivy vines are showing hints of purple-red.
  • Crabapple and Europe Collections: Scattered crabapple leaves just starting to turn yellow.
  • Founder’s Grove: Some asters still have white and blue blooms and redbuds tree leaves are starting to turn yellow.
  • Thornhill Education Center: Viburnum plicatum ‘Mariesii’ leaves are beginning to flush with dark maroon.
  • Alternate Route and Lake Marmo: Redbud leaves are turning yellow. Hints of orange can be seen on sugar maples to the north of Lake Marmo. Purple is starting to show on the large Freeman maple on the north side of the lake.
  • Schulenberg Prairie: Grasses are ripening and beginning to change color. Some fall asters still have blooms of whites, blue and purple.
  • Birch Collection: Leaves on some birches are beginning to turn yellow and drop.
  • Walnut Collection: Walnut tree foliage is beginning to turn yellow and drop.
  • River Bridge area and Ozark Collection: Peking lilac leaves are starting to turn lighter. Cottonwood leaves are turning light yellow and falling.
About The Morton Arboretum
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized outdoor tree museum on 1,700 acres. Plant collections, scientific research and education programs support the mission to plant and conserve trees and other plants for a greener, healthier and more beautiful world. Designed with natural landscapes, the grounds include the award-winning, four-acre interactive Children’s Garden, the one-acre Maze Garden, plus specialty gardens, 16 miles of trails and nine miles of roads. Visitor experiences include the open-air tram ride, guided walks, Arbor Day celebrations, concerts, art shows, Fall Color Festival, and special exhibits. The Arboretum welcomes more than 800,000 visitors annually and serves more than 35,600 members. Located 25 miles west of Chicago in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open daily 7 a.m. until sunset. Learn more at mortonarb.org.
Admission Rate 
Nonmember admission rates to The Morton Arboretum are $12 for adults ages 18-64 ($8 on Wednesday), $11 for seniors ages 65 and over ($7 on Wednesday), $9 for children ages 2-17 ($6 on Wednesday) and free for children under age 2. Parking is free with admission.