When Joy Morton established The Morton Arboretum in 1922, he envisioned a “great outdoor museum” of trees. Today, our living collections inspire visitors to appreciate, learn about, plant, and protect trees. The Arboretum champions the world's trees through scientific study, conservation, education, and outreach.
The Morton Arboretum's 1,700 acres hold more than 222,000 live plants representing nearly 4,300 taxa from around the world. Situated on the rolling Valparaiso moraine and bisected by the East Branch of the DuPage River, the Arboretum is planned and planted to nurture and display trees and shrubs in environments conducive to their growth.
The Arboretum offers extensive educational programming for all ages; conducts leading research on tree health and tree improvement; breeds and introduces hardy and disease-resistant trees and shrubs for distribution throughout the Midwest; and presents nature-related activities year-round for people of all ages and interests.
Also on the grounds are the Visitor Center and Plant Clinic, The Arboretum Store, Ginkgo Restaurant and Café, four-acre Children’s Garden, one-acre Maze Garden, an environmentally-friendly parking lot, and a paved walking trail around restored Meadow Lake.
Trustees & Advisors
The Morton Arboretum elected Board of Trustees oversees the administrative and operations of the organization. A Board of Advisors serves as ambassadors and advocates for the Arboretum in the community. LEARN MORE
Mission and history of the Arboretum
The Arboretum was founded in 1922 by Morton Salt magnate Joy Morton. His inspiration came from his father, J. Sterling Morton (1832-1902), the founder of Arbor Day in the United States. LEARN MORE
As a nonprofit organization, The Morton Arboretum holds itself accountable to the public, including all its members and other constituents who support the Arboretum’s mission. Past and present financial information is regularly published online. LEARN MORE
Affiliates and partners
The Morton Arboretum works together with professional affiliates to support a mission of a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. LEARN MORE
Sustainability at the Arboretum
Since its founding in 1922, The Morton Arboretum has demonstrated sustainable practices to benefit the community. Science and conservation efforts here strive to preserve native plant species, manage invasive species, and improve tree care and preservation within urban forests. learn more
Working at the Arboretum
Employees of the Arboretum are passionate about trees and nature, and enjoy a wonderful environment to earn a living. The Arboretum offers a generous benefits package for full-time employees that include medical and dental insurance, life and disability insurance, and a 401(K) plan. LEARN MORE
Watch popular and educational videos provided for you by The Morton Arboretum. learn more