October 8, 2020
Fall color continues to emerge at The Morton Arboretum. This past week’s cool nights coupled with bright sunny days have brought on additional fall colors in vibrant shades. Colors in the Arboretum’s collections and woodlands are beginning to intensify. It's still very early in the season to predict how intense the hues will become.
Within The Arboretum’s collections, trees and plants are starting to reveal yellow shades including: hackberry, redbud, tree lilac, ironwood, American elm, Miyabe maple, katsura, coffeetree, river birch, corktree, black walnut, bitternut, shagbark hickory, linden, pawpaw, honeylocust, and some bur oak. Yellow needles on the white pines are noticeable, which is part of the normal cycle of dropping older needles in the fall. Light filtering through the woodland canopy trees has a bright yellow feel overall. The woodland ground layer has a yellow cast to it as well. Many changes can be seen in the areas near the Visitor Center and Thornhill Education Center, as well as on the trails.
Sugar maples are displaying vibrant shades of orange and red near P9 and P10 and the Big Rock Visitor Station. The Maple Collection remains a wonderful location to see vibrant fall colors. Freeman and red maple, shining sumac, flowering dogwood, tupelo, and musclewood are all showcasing intense red hues. Rich purples are emerging on flowering dogwoods, several viburnums, and oak-leaved hydrangea.
The Arboretum’s roadsides are displaying autumn colors in some of the late asters, goldenrods, beggars-ticks, and shrub dogwoods. The prairie is a good place to observe the gentians, asters, and other composites blooming, in addition to fall colors developing on the prairie grasses.
Autumn is still in the early stages at the Arboretum. Colors are developing faster now each day, but the intensity and longevity is still dependent on upcoming weather patterns.
Join the Arboretum’s experienced Tram Tour guides as they narrate three separate audio tours through the grounds, sharing their favorite stories and knowledge. With the Tram Tour program currently on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions, the experience is being made available to anyone who wishes to take the guided tour themselves. Learn more!