Fall Color Report: October 27-November 3, 2016

Gold leaves on a branch
The Arboretum's fall color is at its peak.
October 28, 2016

The full autumn tapestry has come to the trees at The Morton Arboretum. Sugar maples in the natural areas and especially in the East Woods are at their best color yet this year, in an unusually long and late fall color season. The understory sugar maples are turning yellow, with a carpet of colorful leaves on the ground.

 

East Side

 

Visitor Center Parking (Parking Lot 1): The Jeffersred Freeman maples are still red, despite some falling leaves. Yellow leaves show on a hackberry, redbuds, a Ussuri pear, and Peking lilacs. Bald-cypress trees are turning yellowish-green. Sumacs are red, while oak-leaved hydrangeas have dark red leaves and sugar maples are orange. White pines are dropping their older yellow needles, which is normal at this time of year.

Elm, Linden and Cork-tree Collections (Parking Lots 1 to 2): Yellow leaves are falling from cork-trees. Some linden leaves are yellow. American elms are golden yellow and buckeyes are yellow-brown.

Northern Illinois and Midwest Collections (Parking Lot 2): You’ll see yellow leaves on pawpaws, redbuds, bur oaks, shagbark hickories, and hackberries. Bitternut hickories are golden yellow. Flowering dogwoods show reddish-purple leaves and bright red fruits. A red maple is turning pale red, while sugar and black maples are showing orange. Viburnum leaves are turning a dark maroon shade of red.

Frost Hill (Parking Lot 3): Hackberries and redbuds have yellow leaves. Tall, slender sugar maples to the east show orange. Yellow is the major color in the view from the hill overlooking northern Illinois and the DuPage River valley, with a few orange sugar maples. Magnolia and beech trees to the west are yellow. Pines on the top of the hill are dropping their older yellow needles, which is normal at this time of year. A Japanese zelkova is beginning to turn dark red.

Crabapple Lake and Rose Family Collection (Parking Lot 4): White oaks are starting to turn a mix of green, brown, and lavender.

Crowley Marsh and Magnolia Collection (Parking Lot 5): Magnolias are beginning to show various shades of yellow and brown. Walnut trees are losing their yellow leaves. Bur oaks and redbuds are yellow. Red oaks are starting to turn color. Gray dogwood is turning a purple shade. A black willow in the marsh is turning yellow. Tulip-trees are turning yellow. White oaks are starting to turn a mix of green, brown, and lavender.

Buckeye Collection (Parking Lot 6): Bottlebrush buckeyes are yellow. Cork-trees, honey-locusts, redbuds, walnuts, elms, lindens and witch-hazels near Spikerush Marsh are yellow, with leaves beginning to fall. A black-gum is turning a dark red color. White oaks are starting to turn a mix of green, brown, and lavender in the surrounding woodlands.

Maple and Oak Collections (Parking Lots 7 and 8): The Maple Collection is the go-to place to take a walk this week, with maples from around the world showing off their best fall colors. You also can see yellows, russets and shade of red and purple on some of the oaks. White oaks are starting to turn a mix of green, brown, and lavender.

East Woods (Parking Lots 8 to 15): The yellow sugar maples have their best color yet. Walnuts, black cherries, elms, redbuds, lindens, and ironwood are also yellow. Bitternut-hickories are golden yellow.

Big Rock Visitor station (Parking Lot 13): Woodland sugar maples are showing orange and yellow at their tops and sides where leaves are exposed to the sun. Smaller sugar maples below the tall trees also are turning yellow, as are walnuts, lindens, black cherries, and ironwoods along the trails.

Maple and Beech Collections (Parking Lot 14): Take a walk through these collections to see a variety of colors on trees from around the world. Near the parking lot, a lone sugar maple is still orange but beginning to drop its leaves.

East Woods (Parking Lot 15): Tall sugar maples are showing orange up high, while the smaller ones below are turning yellow.

Appalachia, China and Japan Collections (Parking Lots 16 to 18): Flowering dogwoods have red-purple leaves. Sugar maples are turning orange where the sun hits their leaves, with some yellow on their shady sides. Silver maples are yellow. Pawpaws are turning bright yellow in the sun. Miyabe maples are yellow-green, with some leaves falling. Some yellow and red can be seen on elms in the China Collection. Asian maples to the south of the road are beginning to show shade of yellow, with hints of red.

Sumac Collection (Parking Lot 18): Sumacs from North America and China are various shades of red.

West Side Main Route

 

River Bridge and Ozark Collection: Peking lilacs, wild hydrangeas, and American beech are turning yellow and brown. A sugar maple is orange. Silver maples, hackberries, and ironwood are yellow. A bitternut hickory is golden yellow.

Crabapple and Europe Collections and retention basin (Parking Lot 19): Swamp and silky dogwoods are turning purple. Away to the west, the top of the Miyabe maple along Joy Path is turning yellow as it begins to lose leaves.

Founder’s Grove (Parking Lot 20): White oaks are starting to turn a mix of green, brown, and lavender. Redbuds and ironwood are yellow. If you park and look closely, you’ll find something unusual in fall: yellow flowers on witch-hazels.

Thornhill Education Center (Parking Lot 21): Marmo and Jeffersred Freeman maples leaves are beginning to turn red on their leaves. Redbuds, catalpas, honey-locusts, elms, and sycamores are turning yellow. Sumacs are red. Alternate-leaved dogwoods are turning shades of yellow and red. Viburnums are turning dark red.

Daffodil Glade (Parking Lots 22 and 23): White oaks are starting to turn, showing green and shades of brown and lavender. A few walnuts, elms, bur oaks, redbuds, and ironwoods are turning yellow.

Pine Hill (Parking Lot 24): White oaks are starting to turn, showing green and shades of brown and lavender. Walnuts, basswoods, and redbuds have yellow leaves. Bitternut hickory is golden yellow.

Schulenberg Prairie (Parking Lot 25): Grasses are turning gold, red, and purple. Walnut trees are dropping yellow leaves. Elms, hickories, and black cherries are yellow. Sumacs are red.

Sterling Pond (Parking Lots 25 and 29): Sugar maples are orange. Yellow is showing on hackberries, ironwoods, redbuds, and bur oaks.

Sterling Pond (Parking Lots 25 and 29): White oaks are starting to turn, showing green and shades of brown and lavender. Sugar maples are orange. Yellow is showing on hackberries, ironwoods, redbuds, and bur oaks.

Birch Collection (Parking Lots 30 and 31): Birches and hornbeams have some yellow leaves. The falling leaves show off the attractive and varied bark of birch trees.

Nut Tree Collection (Parking Lot 31): Walnut leaves are turning yellow-green and dropping. Pecan trees are turning shades of yellow and brown along with green.

DuPage River and Willow Island (Parking Lot 32): Sugar maples at the river bridge are orange. Maples along the fence to the south are turning yellow-green. Freeman maples across the river are turning reddish purple color. Bur oaks and redbuds are yellow. Viburnums are showing dark red.

Godshalk Meadow (Parking Lot 33): Miyabe maples are turning yellow-green.


West Side Alternate Route

 

Sargent’s Glade (Parking Lot 26): White oaks are starting to turn, showing green and shades of brown and lavender. Bur oaks, redbuds, and walnuts are yellow. Young oaks are yellow, with browns and hints of purple in their green leaves. Bitternut-hickories are golden yellow.

Lake Marmo and Sterling Pond (Parking Lots 27 and 28): Catalpas, hackberries, redbuds, bur oaks, and ironwoods are yellow-green. A large Freeman maple on the north side of Lake Marmo is purple. Sugar maples are orange on the north side of the lake. Among the lower plants, bitterweet and grapevine leaves are yellow. Bald-cypress trees are turning russet brown.

Lower Joy Path and Lake Road: The large Miyabe maple along Joy Path continues turning yellow. Walnuts, persimmons, silver maples, hackberries, ironwoods, spicebush, and tulip-trees are turning yellow. A sugar maple is orange. Bitternut-hickory is golden yellow. Tupelos are turning red.