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.
Don’t forget to keep watering as the season draws to a close. It’s especially important to water evergreens and any trees, shrubs, or perennials planted within the last two years, says Sharon Yiesla, Plant Clinic assistant at The Morton Arboretum.
Brisk fall weather is here and brighter colors are starting to show! Recent cool night temperatures have brought color to sumac, Virginia creeper, and poison-ivy growing in sunny areas of the grounds. Redbud, coffeetree, hackberry, and Freeman maples in the visitor center parking lot are coloring nicely.
As the summer draws to a close, this year’s fall tree color season will depend on weather patterns during the rest of September, October, and early November. Shorter day length is the primary trigger for plants as they get ready for winter. Local rainfall, temperature, and the amount of sunlight available will determine the brightness and longevity of the trees’ colors.