A good snowfall is a chance to throw snowballs, build forts, spot animal tracks, and notice how white highlights outline the shapes of trees, says Tifanie Treter, who often teaches about snow in Winter Science Camps at The Morton Arboretum. Treter suggests bringing a sketchbook to capture the shape of a tree outlined by snow. A camera, a magnifying glass, and a field guide to identify animal tracks will add to the fun.
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- Winter is a fine time to prune shrubs. When the leaves are gone, you can see the true form of the plant to help you choose which branch to cut, says Kunso Kim, head of collections and curator at The Morton Arboretum. How you prune will depend on each shrub’s situation.
- Animals that need food to survive the winter can take a toll on perennials, shrubs, and young trees. Simple steps can minimize the damage, according to Peter Linsner, who is in charge of animal control at The Morton Arboretum.
- What is a pine or spruce cone? Think of it as an egg carton. Each of the layered scales once created a sealed compartment for one or two seeds. You can find many sizes and shapes of cones among the more than 100 kinds of trees in the Conifer Collection at The Morton Arboretum. Their ancestry is ancient: Conifer fossils go back 300 million years.
- At The Morton Arboretum, groves of trees in the rolling landscape are collections, purposefully assembled from around the world. Trees that would never grow together in nature—that may have evolved on opposite sides of the globe—are gathered here to serve science and, perhaps, to save their species.
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