TREES & Plants

Tree and plant descriptions

  • Eastern hemlock

    Tsuga canadensis
    Plant advice at The Morton Arboretum: One of the more shade-tolerant evergreens, the eastern hemlock has many uses, as a specimen, sheared as a hedge, or planted for screening.
  • Eastern red cedar

    Juniperus virginiana
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: Eastern red cedar is native to eastern North America. These cold-hardy, adaptable evergreen trees serve many purposes in the landscape, especially in sites that are dry, alkaline or windy. The foliage of scale-like needles is attractive but prickly. In late summer and fall, many junipers have blue-green berrylike fruits, actually modified cones, that attract birds. Because they are quite salt-tolerant, they can be used near roads, driveways and sidewalks.
  • Eastern white pine

    Pinus strobus
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: The eastern white pine is a tree for landscapes with ample space. Its fine feathery needles, open canopy and straight trunk get more picturesque with age. Trees are fast growing and long lived.
  • Elm cultivars


    A number of elms are available that can resist the pathogen that causes the devastating Dutch elm disease. Since the disease first began mowing down American elms in the 1930s, scientists and breeders have been developing alternatives. Most of these trees are hybrids that cross various species of American, Asian and European elms. Some are selections of species that were observed to resist the disease. Not all these trees have the characteristic vase- or fountain-shaped arching branch structure of the beloved American elm, but some come close.

  • English oak

    Quercus robur
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: English oak is excellent as a specimen or grouping tree for parks and large areas; its high degree of salt tolerance allows it to be used in the most exposed areas. English oak is a broadly rounded to spreading, open-headed tree with a short trunk, given its height. Dark green to blue-green foliage and acorns on long stalks are the appealing ornamental characteristics of English oak.
  • Eurasian smoke tree

    Cotinus coggygria
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: The outstanding feature of Eurasian smoke tree is the large, airy, plume-like stalks that hold the small flowers. These pass through several color changes, often a smoky pink, and provide interest all summer.
  • European Beech

    Fagus sylvatica
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: European Beech is a large graceful tree appropriate for large properties like parks. This species has smooth silvery gray bark and a low branching pattern.
  • European cranberry-bush

    Viburnum opulus var. opulus (syn. Viburnum opulus)
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: This viburnum is attractive and offers multi-season interest, but it has become an invasive plant in some states and is not recommended.
  • European hornbeam

    Carpinus betulus
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: European hornbeams are excellent in groupings around large buildings and also useful as screens, hedges and windbreak trees. The European hornbeam has densely textured foliage, and handsome, slate gray smooth to fluted bark. The dark green leaves turn an attractive yellow in the fall, and the bark and buds are ornamental in winter.
  • European Larch

    Larix decidua
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: European larch is a great choice for specimen plantings or in groups for parks and large areas. Unlike most conifers, it drops its needles in winter.