Flourish amid Fall Color at the Morton ArboretumNew Trails Give Visitors New Perspectives On Stunning Tree Collections
LISLE, IL (August 15, 2008) – For your autumn staycation, experience the awesome coloration at The Morton Arboretum: the gold standard of fall color.
With two miles of new trails and an unparalleled opportunity to see trees from 40 countries, visiting the Arboretum is like getting the world’s fall color all in one place. Due to the wide variety of native and exotic trees and other plants, something is always “turning” during the fall color season, which frequently lasts well into November. Many spectators visit each week to see the changing vistas.
"It's a visual version of surround sound, a colorful experience that stretches up, over, and around, immersing us in an impressionist's vision of trees in fall. We are invited into a magical place, sometimes bracingly cool, where our inner ‘balance’ is restored, says Craig Johnson, Arboretum Director of Education and Information Services.
With 1,700 acres featuring tree collections and formal gardens, what place could be better than the Arboretum to have your “fall color moment?”
No one can resist the temptation to get outdoors when autumn issues the invitation. Beams of sunlight bathing the sugar maples gift us with scarlet reds, oranges, and golds like butterscotch. They’re positively coloricious! From birch, dogwood, buckeye and walnut; to ginkgo, sweet gum and larch; to oak, callery pear and Chinese mountain ash; visitors can explore these and a vast array of other trees they know and love.
But Arboretum guests can also find lesser-known tree types not typically found around Chicagoland. These include pawpaw, corktree, and hickories that turn yellow; dawn-redwoods (called “living fossils”) that turn reddish-bronze; and bald-cypress, with a coppery, reddish-brown hue.
The Arboretum’s sea of Asian maples produce their own kind of crimson tide. And in the Schulenberg Prairie, sunlight dancing on Indian grass, big blue stem and little blue stem produces sparkling highlights.
Among the two miles of pristine, new hiking trails, one loop leads visitors through the China, Central and Western Asia, and Eastern U.S. Wetlands collections, and by the Appalachia collection. Hikers enjoy a particularly special experience as the trail passes around a ravine.
“It’s like Alice in Wonderland. You say ‘wow, it’s so cool’,” says Kunso Kim, Arboretum Assistant Director of Collections, who adds that even if visitors have been through these collections before, the new trails offer viewers brand new perspectives.
Another new trail leads through the nationally-recognized elm collection, one of the largest elm collections in the world, and through the linden collection.
Those who are not into hiking can enjoy the delightful beauty from a car, or via an Arboretum tram ride. Another “green” option to see fall color is to bicycle along the nine miles of paved roads, with bike racks in varied locations for riders to park and walk into the spectacular collections.
Arboretum “Color Scout,” Ed Hedborn, is preparing to produce his weekly “Bloom ‘n Color” fall color reports starting in late September, available at www.mortonarb.org.
To enhance the visitor experience, the Arboretum will once again present its Fall Color Festival, September 27 – October 26. Highlights include the Fall Color 5K Run on October 5, pumpkin decorating; special treats such as taffy apples and other mouth-watering delights, a “Scarecrow Trail”, and fall garden accents for sale. There’s even a sale of fine jewelry, with proceeds going to plant trees!
Already, Arboretum visitors are anxiously awaiting nature’s picturesque backdrop for all the fun.
Frank Loew of Elk Grove Village says he’s looking forward to “the sugar maples, the birches, just the leaves in general. It’s overwhelming!”
The Morton Arboretum gratefully acknowledges all of our sponsors: UPM, the Fall Color Festival Presenting Sponsor, and Bank of America, the Supporting Sponsor, along with the Bicycling Sponsor, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. Fall Color 5K Run sponsors are AthletiCo, Dick Pond Athletics, and REI.
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized 1,700-acre outdoor museum with collections of 4,117 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. Central Time or sunset, whichever is earlier. The Children's Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., March through October, and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., November through February. Visit www.mortonarb.org or call 630-968-0074 to learn more.