LISLE, Ill. (January 3, 2014)—When The Morton Arboretum’s P.J. Smith works with his staff to clear snow from the 16 miles of roads and nine miles of trails at the Arboretum, he needs to do it quickly and in the most environmentally friendly manner possible. Smith, construction supervisor in charge of snow removal at The Morton Arboretum, now clears the Arboretum roads with a product containing an unusual ingredient – beet juice – which, when mixed with rock salt, clears the Arboretum’s roads and trails quicker than salt alone.
The garden may have dimmed for the winter, but it hasn’t turned off entirely. From green evergreen needles that are still gathering sunlight to make food, to buds already formed at the tips of twigs, to animals busy beneath the snow, to seeds in the soil waiting for springtime, there's secret life in the winter garden.
LISLE, Ill. (December 19, 2013) – Murphy Westwood, Ph.D., has joined The Morton Arboretum staff as tree conservation specialist. In this newly established role, Westwood is part of the Arboretum’s Science and Conservation department, focusing on the conservation of endangered tree species both locally and globally.
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.
The same pots that burst with bright annuals this summer can provide color, texture, and interest this winter, according to Abigail Rea, manager of horticulture at The Morton Arboretum. Many of the materials can be found right in your garden. Rea offers tips for interesting holiday containers.