Nature’s Annual Treat Begins With The First Signs Of Fall Color
Reporters Invited To An Exclusive Tour At The Morton Arboretum
LISLE, IL (September 17, 2007) – Mother Earth is “teasing” visitors to The Morton Arboretum with early signs of lovely fall color already on display.
“With the cold we’ve had in the evenings and the bright sunny days, we’re already seeing hints of red in the sumacs and Virginia creeper,” says Ed Hedborn, Arboretum botanist and “Color Scout.” Hedborn will host an exclusive, media-only tour of Arboretum fall colors and unique trees on October 11 from 10 – 11 a.m. Reporters must RSVP to attend.
In the tree world’s version of the Greatest Show On Earth, the Arboretum will be teeming with raging reds, gorgeous golds, stunning yellows, pretty purples, and more. The Arboretum – sprawled across 1,700 acres and one of the largest botanical institutions in the Midwest – features trees and other woody plants from more than 40 countries. Not only will visitors see unusual, exotic species that are hard to find elsewhere in Chicagoland, the wide array of species means something is always “peaking” throughout the fall color season.
Guests can see it all in a new way this year: bicycling along the nine miles of Arboretum roads. Bike racks are placed strategically on the grounds allowing visitors to leave their bikes and walk along any of the 14 miles of hiking trails. Biking allows a more “up close and personal” way to see the fall color show. As an alternative to driving yourself or cycling, the Arboretum tram will provide guided tours of the beautiful tree collections.
Nature’s beauty pageant is an incredible reminder that it’s so important to go green – to plant and protect trees for everyone’s health and well-being. It reminds us that trees supply the very oxygen we breathe, and other benefits, such as filtering pollution from the air, pulling carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, providing shade and cooling, and of course, gifting us with stunning beauty. Also, studies show a view of trees is linked to lower violence and reduced symptoms of attention deficit disorder, and other conditions.
Families should plan several trips to the Arboretum, to see all three “acts” of the show.
In “Act One,” in the early fall, expect the showiest trees to be red sumacs and purple-red flowering dogwoods, the lovely yellows of Asian birch, several species of sumac, black walnut, Carpathian walnut, and buckeyes with their rust-like reddish-gold.
Around mid-October, in “Act Two,” the “kings” of fall color – the maples – delight us with their striking golds, reds, and oranges. Also stealing the spotlight are ginkgos, with megawatt yellow leaves so bright, you might think the trees are plugged into an electrical outlet. Sweet gums usually bring a dark red or purple, while corktrees, black maples and larches round out the palette.
In “Act Three,” starting late October into November, mighty oaks bring rich purples and reds to center stage while Callery pear and Chinese Mountain-ash fill a colorful supporting role.
For a “twist,” the Schulenberg Prairie will be a treat with fall color flowers. “The asters are blooming now, and will be into October, and gentians will be blooming later in October,” Hedborn says.
Hedborn reports his weekly color findings on the Bloom ‘n Color Hotline, at 630/719-7955.
The new Children’s Garden is a perfect place for parents to relax amid beautiful trees and other plants, while children play in the fun and educational gardens. Drop-in events teach children about pumpkins, and allow the kids to make their own little scarecrow to take home. The Children’s Garden is a marvelous place to make special family memories that last a lifetime.
Fall Color Festival events for the whole family include the Fall Color 5K Run on September 30, followed by an October of art shows, sales of garden ornaments and plants, taffy apples, a scarecrow “trail,” and more. For details, visit www.mortonarb.org.
Unless otherwise specified, all Arboretum events and destinations, including the Children’s Garden, are free with Arboretum admission, which is:
- $9 per person ($6 on Wednesday), ages 18-64
- $8 per person, ($5 on Wednesday), ages 65 and over
- $6 per person, ($4 on Wednesday), ages 3-17
- (Under age 3 is free)
- Parking is free.
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized 1,700-acre outdoor museum with collections of 4,057 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. or sunset, whichever is earlier, Central Time. 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,