Trees Treating Us To Stunning Fall Color
From Eye Candy To Cotton Candy, Trees Producing Delightful Views, Scents
LISLE, IL (October 20, 2006) – This time of year, there’s nothing wrong with “seeing red.” In fact, you’ll probably enjoy it.
Raging reds, glistening yellows, oranges and purples are all competing for “best in show” at The Morton Arboretum’s annual fall color display of trees and shrubs.
In spite of cloudy, cool weather, “fall color will not be denied,” said Arboretum “Fall Color Scout” and botanist Ed Hedborn, who adds that the next several days should be some of the very best this season for fall color viewing.
Sugar maples are all dressed up in their yellows, oranges and reds, with hickories, elms, ironwood, redbud and linden sporting yellows. Red oaks are developing their reddish hues.
Typically, fall color around the Arboretum is particularly impressive because of the wide variety of species from 63 countries around the world – trees not likely found elsewhere in the Chicago area. More than just looking at pretty color, visitors to the Arboretum enhance their experience by observing the descriptive labeling that identify trees, and may find out more about each species, if they wish, in the Sterling Morton Library.
While trees with abundant leaves and stunning beauty inspire awe as they gently sway in the breeze, leaves that have fallen to the ground provide a memorable experience as children and their parents sift through, create piles and generally enjoy autumn’s bounty.
Nature’s gifts in fall are not limited to lovely leaves. Take the katsura tree, for instance.
“Stand under or near a katsura at this time of year, the smell is like sugar, like cotton candy, and some people say it smells like cinnamon,” says Edith Makra, arborist and Arboretum Community Trees Advocate.
Beyond the leaves are the showy red fruits of our native hollies. Even after the leaves drop, these fruits can be brought inside for stunning accents in tabletop arrangements.
And let’s not forget that certain species are actually blooming this time of year. Witch-hazel is peeking out with “yellow, strap-like petals,” Hedborn says.
Hedborn’s “Fall Color Scout” duty began eight years ago with his regular responsibilities of maintaining records for The Arboretum’s world renowned collection of trees and woody plants. Hedborn, who holds a Masters Degree in Botany, began telling other staffers which trees around the Arboretum were exhibiting lively and exciting colors. Staff then mentioned this to visitors, enabling them to target the best views during their Arboretum tram tour or while driving through the 1,700 acres.
Now, Hedborn provides his “Bloom ‘n Color” report on what trees and plants were displaying fall color and spring color to the general public, at www.mortonarb.org and via The Morton Arboretum's Bloom 'n Color Hotline at 630-719-7955.
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized 1,700-acre outdoor museum with collections of more than 3,700 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum's beautiful natural landscapes, gardens, research and education programs, and year-round family activities support its mission – the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. Conveniently located at I-88 and Rte. 53 in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (CDT) and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CST). The Children's Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CDT) and 9:30 to 4 p.m. (CST). Visit www.mortonarb.org or call 630/968-0074 to learn more.
Media Contact: Gina Tedesco, 630-725-2103,