TREES & plants

Tree and plant descriptions

  • New Jersey tea

    Ceanothus americanus
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: During June and July, this rounded shrub is a cloud of white flowers; use it in masses for best affect, as a tall ground cover, or on steep slopes. Despite its name, New Jersey tea is a Chicago-area native.
  • Nikko maple

    Acer maximowiczianum
    Unlike other maples, the Nikko maple does not have the traditional "maple" leaf. Each leaf is divided into three leaflets. The leaves turn to shades of red and orange in autumn, giving this medium-sized tree some late-season interest.
  • Northern catalpa

    Catalpa speciosa
    This Midwest native tree grows 40 to 60 feet tall, with a narrow, open, irregularly rounded crown and spreading branches. It has large, heart-shaped leaves and large clusters of fragrant, white flowers. The long, interesting seed pods persist through the winter. Northern catalpa is very adaptable to adverse conditions, but has weak wood and branch structure.
  • Northern red oak

    Quercus rubra
    Northern red oak is native to the Midwest and is one of the faster growing oaks for the home landscape. The leaves are handsome throughout the year, emerging pinkish-red, turning lustrous dark green in summer, and changing to russet-red to bright red in autumn. Its tolerance of salt and air pollution makes it a good tree for more exposed areas.
  • Norway maple (Not recommended)

    Acer platanoides
    Norway maples have invasive traits that enable them to spread aggressively. While these trees have demonstrated invasive traits, there is insufficient supporting research to declare them so pervasive that they cannot be recommended for any planting sites. Review of risks should be undertaken before selecting these trees for planting sites. Norway maple is known for its tolerance of urban conditions, but it often becomes a weedy plant through self-seeding.
  • Norway spruce

    Picea abies
    Norway spruce is a large, pyramidal tree with long, cylindrical cones that hang like ornaments from the weeping branches against the dark green foliage. This sun-loving, 50- to 80-foot-high tree is often used as windbreaks, screens, or hedges in large-scale landscapes.
  • Oak-leaved hydrangea

    Hydrangea quercifolia
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: Oak-leaved hydrangea is a shrub for all seasons. The large leaves resemble oak leaves and are deep green and sometimes glossy. They turn a deep burgundy in fall and sometimes can persist into winter. The large cone-shaped flower clusters open white and eventually turn a purplish-pink. Older bark is cinnamon brown color and peels to create a texture that makes this plant interesting even when the leaves are gone.
  • Ohio buckeye

    Aesculus glabra
    The Ohio buckeye is a neatly rounded tree with low, sweeping branches and dense foliage that provides deep shade. It is one of the first trees to leaf out in the spring. This tree is susceptible to leaf blotch.
  • Old fashioned weigela

    Weigela florida
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: Weigela fills gardens with bright tubular flowers in early summer. There are many cultivated varieties available with different flower colors.
  • Oriental arborvitae

    Platycladus orientalis (syn. Thuja orientalis)
    Oriental arborvitae is similar in appearance to other species of arborvitae. Nurseries usually sell the cultivars of this plant rather than the actual species and those cultivars can vary greatly in appearance. Winter protection may be needed for this plant. Because it is typically short in stature, oriental arborvitae may be planted under utility lines.