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TREES & Plants

Conifer Collection

Conifer Collection
The Conifer Collection at The Morton Arboretum shows the incredible diversity of coniferous species, highlighting dramatic differences in foliage density, shape, color, size, and growth form; contrasts in bark texture and color; and variety of cone shape and color.

Conifers are incredibly important throughout the world's landscapes. The Conifer Collection displays the immense diversity among the many conifers that can grow in our region. Coniferous trees, trees that bear cones, exist in many forms besides the archetypal Christmas tree, with its pyramidal form and dark green evergreen needles. Plants in this collection can be trees or shrubs, large or small, have dark green to blue to lime green foliage; and needles that can be long and pointed, or short and scale-like. Conifers can have a columnar or rounded shape, can be low-growing shrubs, or giants piercing the sky.

This incredible diversity has been beautifully displayed across the 22 acres. The newly constructed Conifer Walk is a great way to explore this collection. Plants are grouped by family, to facilitate the understanding of the unique features in each member. As you walk the trail you will encounter: cypress family (including Juniperus, Cupressus, Chamaecyparis, and Thuja), pine family (Tsuga, Picea, Pinus, Pseudotsuga, Abies, and Larix), ginkgo family (Ginkgo), and yew family (Taxus and Cephalotaxus ). Our Garden Conifer Collection is in a large bed south of the Conifer Walk. The trail begins next to the Hedge Garden, and can also be reached by walking south on the sidewalk between the Children's and Maze Gardens.

Explore the Conifer Walk to see what conifers might capture your interest. It is an enjoyable walk and a special treat in the wintertime. Make sure to venture off the trail to get a closer look at trees that interest you. It will truly amaze you to see the great diversity of conifers on the Arboretum grounds, including:
 

Pine


From the umbrella-shaped Tanyosho pines to the weeping eastern white pine, this section offers an aesthetic treat. learn more


Spruce


Spruce are the dominant tree throughout much of the northern extensions of the world's temperate regions and are very well represented in the Conifer Collection at The Morton Arboretum. There are more than forty kinds of spruce in the collection at, including 19 different species.   learn more


Yew


In the Yew Collection at The Morton Arboretum, look for the many cultivars of Japanese yew (Taxus cuspidata). Notable specimens in this collection are several mature, upright forms of Anglo-Japanese yew (Taxus x media). learn more


Fir


Fir trees are in the genus Abies, and are represented by eighteen different kinds at The Morton Arboretum. Stand amidst these trees and admire their unique symmetry, unparalleled by any other coniferous genera.  learn more


Garden conifers


Visible from the Conifer Collection is the very recently installed garden conifer section at The Morton Arboretum. This large area provides a very unique opportunity to view garden conifers within the larger collection. learn more


Larch


Larches are deciduous conifers. Deciduous conifers are relatively unusual, so take the time to appreciate these great trees at The Morton Arboretum.  learn more