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The Morton Arboretum's Plant Clinic Calls Attention To Importance of Tree Diversity

August 19, 2014

 A tiny metallic green pest not even the size of a penny, the emerald ash borer hardly seems capable of the destruction it has brought to the area. But millions of significantly weakened and dead ash trees throughout the seven-county Chicago region tell a different story. 

As ash trees succumb to the invasive insect and pass the point of treatment — intervention with certain insecticides before or early on in the tree’s decline can help prolong survival but do not offer a long-term solution —The Morton Arboretum’s Plant Clinic regularly consults with homeowners on what trees they can plant as replacements.

Housed on the Arboretum’s grounds and available in person, by phone or via email, the Plant Clinic is staffed by experts and trained volunteers who can make recommendations for replacement trees based on several different factors. These include location and the specifics of the planting site. Resources also detail the availability and hardiness of various options.

“Diversity is essential to keeping healthy trees in our communities,” said Doris Taylor, plant information specialist at The Morton Arboretum’s Plant Clinic. “Emerald ash borer has been so harmful because it is able to move from one ash tree to the next, and so on. When homeowners plant a tree that is different from the one in a parkway or neighbor’s yard, they’re helping to curb the dangerous spread of insect or disease.”

For more resources about emerald ash borer, visit mortonarb.org.  The Morton Arboretum thanks Bartlett Tree Experts for its generous support of the Plant Clinic.

About The Morton Arboretum
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized outdoor tree museum on 1,700 acres. Plant collections, scientific research and education programs support the mission to plant and conserve trees and other plants for a greener, healthier and more beautiful world. Designed with natural landscapes, the grounds include the award-winning, four-acre interactive Children’s Garden, the one-acre Maze Garden, plus specialty gardens, 16 miles of trails and nine miles of roads. Visitor experiences include the open-air tram ride, guided walks, Arbor Day celebrations, concerts, art shows, the Fall Color Festival, Illumination and special exhibits. The Arboretum welcomes 885,000 visitors annually and receives support from 38,600 member households.  Located 25 miles west of Chicago in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open daily 7 a.m. until sunset. Learn more at mortonarb.org.

Admission Rate
Nonmember admission rates to The Morton Arboretum are $12 for adults ages 18-64 ($8 on Wednesday), $11 for seniors ages 65 and over ($7 on Wednesday), $9 for children ages 2-17 ($6 on Wednesday) and free for children under age 2. Parking is free with admission. Members receive free general admission all year long.