VISIT & explore


LISLE, Ill. (March 21, 2014) – Trees do so much for us.  It’s easy to pass them by without a glance; meanwhile just by being there, they help clean the air we breathe, make our cities safer and even reduce our energy bills. This year, The Morton Arboretum is celebrating Arbor Day and the importance of trees by asking everyone to “Go Ahead. Hug a Tree.

The Arboretum has a month of activities planned leading up to Arbor Day, from tree-focused fun in the Children’s Garden to our Arbor Day 10K.  New this year, visitors can “Dress Like a Tree, Get In Free” on Arbor Day.  On April 25, show us how much you love trees by dressing like one – and get free admission to the Arboretum.  A children’s costume contest will also take place. One free general admission per costumed individual.  Good on April 25 only.

A national holiday to commemorate trees, Arbor Day has special meaning at The Morton Arboretum.  Julius Sterling Morton, father of Arboretum founder Joy Morton and the Sterling Morton Library’s namesake, was an avid lover of trees and founded the holiday in 1885. It’s noted that Arbor Day started the swing of American public opinion at the time from forest destruction toward forest conservation.


Additional 2014 Arbor Day highlights at the Arboretum include:

Arbor Day 10K
Runners, take part in the Arbor Day 10K on Sunday, April 13. Challenge yourself on our scenic, rolling USATF-certified course, winding along the East Side main route. Afterwards, enjoy a specially priced post-race breakfast in the Ginkgo Restaurant and explore our 1,700 acre outdoor oasis. Day-of registration opens at 6:30 a.m. and the race starts at 8 a.m.

Arbor Day Plant Sale
Get the landscape of your dreams at our Arbor Day Plant Sale. Choose from more than 300 species of trees, shrubs, and flowers available for purchase, all recommended by Arboretum experts. Plant Geniuses will be on hand to help you find the perfect plant for your landscape. The sale opens to the public on Saturday, April 26, noon-5 p.m. and Sunday, April 27, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Arbor Day Weekend Celebration in the Children’s Garden
Celebrate Arbor Day all weekend long in the Children’s Garden! From Friday, April 25-Sunday, April 27, plant tree seeds and go on a hunt for five unique trees throughout the garden (weather permitting).

Dress Like a Tree, Get In Free
On Arbor Day, the Arboretum is offering the first-ever chance to visit for free by dressing up like a favorite tree. Go out on a limb with your creativity! Children 10 and under participating in the promotion will then have the chance to win a prize in our “Tree-Riffic Costume Contest,” held outside of our Children’s Garden.  One free general admission per costumed individual.  Offer valid on April 25, 2014 only.

Hug a Tree Tram Tour
Friday, April 25, Various Times
Take a tram tour around the Arboretum, learn what trees do for us, stop to hug a tree, and share your photos on social media!


Children’s Garden Activities

Tree-Riffic Costume Contest and Group Photo
Friday, April 25, 10:30 a.m.
Children’s Garden
Kids: Don your best tree costume and join us for a costume contest in the Children’s Garden.  The audience will vote on the top tree!

Arbor Day Tree Planting and Story Time with Curious George
Friday, April 25, 11–11:45 a.m.
​Children's Garden
Celebrate Arbor Day in the Children’s Garden with Curious George and the man in the yellow hat. Help them plant a real tree after you’ve listened to a story together.

Be a Tree
Monday, April 21-Friday, April 25, 1–4 p.m.
Children's Garden
Prepare for Arbor Day by making terrific tree masks to take home in this fun activity.

Tree “Roots”
Sunday, April 20 and Saturday, April 26-Sunday, April 27, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Children's Garden
Play games, learn about trees, and plant your own tree seed to take home.


Adult Programs and Events

Edible Gardening: Flavorful Landscapes with Limited Time, Space and Budget
Saturday, April 26, 9:30 a.m.–12 p.m. 
$35 for members, $43 for nonmembers
Increase the nutritional value and beauty of your landscape by incorporating attractive fruits and vegetables into the plan. Whether you have a dedicated garden or squeeze fruits, vegetables, and herbs in your landscape wherever space allows, Melinda will help you grow lots of produce no matter your limitations. We will explore products and plant varieties as well as planting and harvesting techniques to help increase your vegetable gardening success! Melinda will provide design, planting, and time-saving care tips for popular vegetables.

Plus, she’ll feature new varieties with extra ornamental appeal. Melinda’s books will be available for purchase and a book signing will follow the program.

Spring Woodland Wildflowers
Saturday, April 26, 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m.
$16 for members, $23 for nonmembers
Wander through the ever-changing array of blooms in our woodlands to learn how to identify wildflowers such as trillium, mayapple, and dog-tooth violet and hear about their folklore. Bring a friend and enjoy this fleeting spring pleasure.

Note: Held outdoors. Please dress for the weather and for walking on chipped trails. Register in advance at mortonarb.org/education.


Social Media Activities

Ask The Plant Clinic:  Facebook Takeover
Wednesday, April 23 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Have a gardening or tree-related question for our Plant Clinic experts?  Join the conversation as the Arboretum’s Plant Clinic experts take over our Facebook page for the day.  Post your questions while the Plant Clinic staff answers in real time.

Go Ahead. Hug a Tree
Friday, April 25-Sunday, April 27, Various Times
Our photographers will be on-site looking to catch visitors hugging a tree.  Let us snap your photo and tell us why trees are so important to you, and see your picture on Facebook!

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 885,000 visitors annually and serves more than 38,600 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. Members get in free 365 days a year.