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Restoration resources

The Morton Arboretum undertakes restoration and conservation not just for the sake of our own 1,700 acres, but to develop knowledge, skills, and insights that can help natural areas managers, property owners, and land managers. On this page, you’ll find links to many resources about natural areas, restoration and natural landscaping.

Model restoration projects


Arboretum projects

Schulenberg Prairie – See the 100-acre restored prairie on the West Side 

Woodland Demonstration – Park at Big Rock Visitor Station and hike up Heritage Trail 

Meadow Lake – Visit it just north of the Visitor Center 

Regional projects

Chicago Wilderness

Award-winning projects
 

Worldwide projects

Society for Ecological Restoration


Websites

Woodland conservation

Society for Ecological Restoration

Natural Areas Association

The Nature Conservancy Volunteer Stewards Network

USDA Forest Service Northeastern Research Station

The Morton Arboretum Soil Science Lab

The Morton Arboretum Forest Ecology Lab

The Morton Arboretum Plant Conservation Research

Prescribed burning

Nature Conservancy's Global Fire Initiative

US Geological Survey guidelines on prescribed prairie burns

Invasive species control

Invasive trees, shrubs and vines

Exotic Species pages of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Midwest Invasive Plant Network

Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin

USDA's National Invasive Species Center

Invasive Species Network, a joint project of the University of Georgia and the USDA

Invasive Species pages of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Land use history

Nature Conservancy's Conservation by Design program

"Illinois Wildlife: A Historical Perspective" by Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Illinois Natural History Survey

Land Use History of North America published by US Geological Survey Biological Resources Division

Map of Pre-European-settlement vegetation in Northeastern Illinois from The Morton Arboretum Plant Conservation Research

Plant Community Profiles for Northeastern Illinois from The Morton Arboretum Plant Conservation Research  

Trees

Deep Roots of Landscape Trees Comprehensive Guide to Current Research and Practice: A collaboration of The Morton Arboretum, American Nursery and Landscape Association and the International Society of Arboriculture

United States Department of Agriculture

vPlants, Herbarium records of The Morton Arboretum, The Field Museum and the Chicago Botanical Garden

Illinois Big Tree Registry

University of Illinois woody landscape plant identification database

Ohio State University Plant Facts

Virginia Tech Printable Tree Facts

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Tree ID Key

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Tree Learning Center

Missouri Botanical Garden Botanical Name Database

The Morton Arboretum Plant Database

Plants

EPA Greenacres FAQ

National Plant Data Center

vPlants, Herbarium records of The Morton Arboretum, The Field Museum and the Chicago Botanical Garden

New York Botanical Garden Database

Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder database

Organizations

Regional

Chicago Wilderness

Forest Preserve District of DuPage County

Forest Preserve District of Cook County

Forest Preserve District of Lake County

Forest Preserve District of Will County

Forest Preserve District of Kendall County

McHenry County Conservation District

USDA Forest Service Northeastern Research Station

Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin

Midwest Invasive Plant Network

Aldo Leopold Foundation

Northeast-Midwest Institute

Illinois Native Plant Society

National and international

Natural Areas Association

Society for Conservation Biology

The Wildlife Society

The Nature Conservancy

National Council for Science and the Environment

United Nations Environment Programme: Forest Restoration Information Service

Society for Ecological Restoration

Ecological Society of America

Environmental Law Institute

Publications

Books

A Natural History of the Chicago Region, Joel Greenberg. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 2002

Forest Trees of Illinois, Springfield, Ill.: Illinois Department of Natural Resources. 2006

Plants of the Chicago Region. Fourth Edition. Floyd Swink and Gerould Wilhelm. Indianapolis: Indiana Academy of Science. 1994

Handbook of Ecological Restoration, Cambridge University Press. 2002

Kane County Wild Plants & Natural Areas. Third Edition. Dick Young. Geneva, IL: Forest Preserve District of Kane County.  2008.

History of DuPage County, Illinois. Blanchard, Rufus. Chicago: O.L Baskin & Co., 1882.

A History of the County of DuPage, Illinois. Richmond, C. A. and H. F. Vallette. Chicago: Scripps et al., 1857

The Historical Ecology Handbook: a Restorationist's Guide to Reference Ecosystems. Egan, D., and E.A. Howell, editors. 2001. Island Press, Washington, DC, USA

Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America. Hightshoe, Gary L. New York: Van Nostrand & Reinhold Co., 1998.

Nature's Heartland: Native Plant Communities of the Great Plains. Boon, Bill, and Harlen Groe. Iowa State University Press, 1990.

Articles

"Ecological Restoration and other Conservation Practices: The Difference," John Munro. Ecological Restoration 24:3 September 2006; 82-189.

"The Decline of Oak Forests," Craig Lorimer. BioScience October  2003. 53:10; 915.

"Long-term changes in an oak forest's woody understory and herb layer with repeated burning," Marlin L. Bowles et al. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 134(2), 2007; 223-237.

"Where has all the white oak gone?" Marc D. Abrams. BioScience. October 2003 53:10; 927-939.

Journals

Natural Areas Journal

Seminars & training

The Morton Arboretum Woodland Stewardship Training Program

Education program at The Morton Arboretum. The Arboretum offers a wide array of classes in natural history, field ecology, ornithology, and related topics.

Chicago Wilderness Midwest Ecological Prescription Burn Crew Member Training

Links for community associations

Hardy trees and plants

Plants tolerant of wet sites   

Plants for shady sites 

Woody Plants Tolerant of Wet Sites

Native Shrubs of the Midwest

Native trees of the Midwest  

Spring wildflowers of Arboretum woodlands  

Summer prairie plants 

Landscaping with native plants FAQ

Creating habitats and homes for Illinois wildlife

vPlants, A virtual herbarium of the Chicago region

EPA greenacres: Landscaping with native plants

Valley Lakes Wildlife Restoration Project by Valley Lakes Homeowners Association in Round Lake, Ill.

Pond Management and Shoreline Protection

Illinois Lake Management Association

Turf Management

Tree vs. Lawn: Uneasy coexistence

Ornamental grasses 

The Callenge for Increasing Rainfall Infiltration in Urban Landscapes

Midwest Pesticide Action Center

Tree care

Deep tree roots 
Transplanting trees and shrubs 
Tree root problems 
Preventing construction damage to trees
Damaging Effects of Drought

Some nurseries that sell native plants:

Possibility Place

The Natural Garden

Spence Restoration Nursery

Midwest Groundcovers

Some contractors that specialize in native landscaping and ecological restoration:

Applied Ecological Services

Pizzo & Associates

CardnoJFNew

Links for homeowners

Native Shrubs of the Midwest

Native trees of the Midwest 

Spring wildflowers of Arboretum woodlands  

Summer prairie plants 

Plants for shady sites 

Swamp White Oak : Promising Urban Tree

Illinois Maple: A special blend

Landscaping with native plants FAQ

vPlants, A virtual herbarium of the Chicago region 

New Elms for the landscape and urban forest

Tree Provenance

Habitat gardens

Trees & shrubs that attract birds 

Plants that attract butterflies 

Creating habitats and homes for Illinois wildlife 

Rain gardens

Plants tolerant of wet sites 

Woody plants tolerant of wet sites  Woody Plants Tolerant of Wet Sites

Rain Garden Network 

Tree care

Mulching trees and shrubs 

Watering trees and shrubs 

The challenge for rainfall Infiltration in urban landscapes

Tree vs Lawn: Uneasy coexistence

Soil considerations for growing trees  

Composting 

Proposed landscape ordinance from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

EPA Greenacres on Weed Laws

Long Grove, Ill., native plant ordinance

Websites

University of Illinois Home, Yard & Garden Pest Newsletter

Ohio State University Buckeye Yard and Garden Online

EPA Greenacres Natural Landscaping site

Midwest Ecological Landscape Association

Illinois Arborist Association

Illinois Landscape Contractors Association

Wild Ones

City of Chicago Sustainable Backyards Program