VISIT & explore

The Gift of Stories From Trees

At The Morton Arboretum, your kids don’t have to climb a tree to play in a tree house. They can stay safely grounded as they investigate, explore, and enjoy the enchanting structures created for Tree House Tales. This imaginative and entertaining exhibition aimed at children ages 2 through 10 comprises six kid-friendly, fun-filled and educational tree houses. Each house celebrates the story and significance of a species of tree.
“Tree houses are all about imagination and interaction with nature,” says Susan Wagner, Ed M, Vice President of Education and Information.  “Kids will love playing in these magical tree houses, learning about the trees and their stories that inspired each structure, and understanding the critical role that trees play in our environment.”
Along with their botanical importance, each of the six tree species in the exhibition boasts a surprising or playful feature. Some examples:
  • The bur oak is something of an underground real estate king; its extensive root system keeps other trees at bay.
  • Hardy white oaks are rot-resistant and have long, straight trunks, which made them ideal building material for cabins constructed by early settlers.
  • The white pine had a starring role in American History. During the Revolutionary War, the British, who had exhausted their tree stock to build and rebuild their armada, demanded white pine trunks for ship masts. When American tree farmers refused, a small rebellion broke out.