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About the Arboretum

About the Arboretum

Plant Clinic

One of the first places where homeowners, public and private institutions, and schools can turn to get answers to tree questions is the Plant Clinic. With experienced, full-time staff and volunteers, the Plant Clinic can answer questions about selecting and planting trees and other plants, pest and disease infestations, soil quality, mulching, and energy-efficient landscaping—just to name a few topics. The Plant Clinic can handle walk-ins, phone inquiries, and emailed questions. Plant Clinic experts are available for media interviews.  learn more  

Children's Garden

A top Chicagoland attraction is the Children's Garden. This four-acre wonderland includes water features, planting areas, play sets, and educational opportunities for children to discover nature through unstructured or semi-structured play, and fun, special activities. Children who appreciate trees and nature early in life are more likely to take care of our environment as adults. Also, a special teen volunteer corps presents educational programs for younger children. The Maze Garden is one-acre of living hedges that form a fun "puzzle." Visitors challenge themselves to find all seven "plant rooms," or they navigate their way to the elevated viewing deck that encircles a giant sycamore tree.  LEARN MORE  

Special Events

Throughout the year, visitors can enjoy special events—special musical, cultural, holiday, adventure, and family events—all designed to provide enriching and engaging experiences that also offer excellent photo opportunities. Highlights of spring include walking and tram tours, floral shows, and festivities on Arbor Day, the nation's oldest environmental holiday. In summer, we feature hiking, concerts and "Theatre-Hikes." Fall is spectacular with our Fall Color Festival. Wintertime events begin around Thanksgiving, with the Holiday Celebration featuring an indoor train display, specially-decorated trees, and more.  LEARN MORE  


Education programs provide instruction to children/family/school groups and adults; plus certificate programs and botany courses for college credit. Staff and visiting lecturers and artists lead classes in Horticulture, Botanical Art, Nature Photography, Natural History and Birding. Many of the Adult classes include hands-on workshops, hikes and field trips. Special classes are offered for teachers and for Girl and Boy Scouts. Science Camps highlight our year-round Youth and Family courses. In 2006, the Arboretum offered more than 800 adult-level classes, seminars and other programs and 904 programs or classes for children.   LEARN MORE  


Researchers develop new trees, help to identify and manage disease outbreaks in Chicagoland, encourage plant diversity and preserve rare and endangered plants. The 34,000 square-foot Research Center houses and/or manages the Herbarium and its 176,000 preserved specimens (156,000 vascular plants, 20,000 lichens), greenhouses, a tree propagation plot, and the Sterling Morton Library. Researchers are studying pre-settlement vegetation, urban tree hardiness, insects and diseases, root systems, and woodland conservation. All researchers can serve as experts for media interviews.   LEARN MORE  


The Morton Arboretum has been a leader in the fight against Emerald ash borer (EAB). Our Community Trees Advocate has been crucial in raising public awareness about EAB via media interviews and public appearances, and in creating an EAB readiness plan for state and municipal government action. Staff frequently attends local community government meetings to offer advice and assistance on tree issues. Arboretum advocacy also involves school visits and leadership in such activities as Earth Day and Arbor Day.   LEARN MORE  


Tree collections feature more than 182,000 specimens of 4,057 different types of trees, shrubs and other plants native to 40 countries. These specimens educate the public, and serve as vital resources for scientific study. Categories of plant collections include horticultural (landscaping and gardening), geographic (place of origin), scientific (related plant groups), special habitat (modified soils/sites), evaluation groups and endangered plants. Trees and plants have identification tags that contain Latin and common names.   LEARN MORE  

Membership & Development

Membership offers benefits such as free admission, discounts on education classes, ticketed special events, store purchases and member-only exclusive events. The Arboretum, a nonprofit institution, relies on donations to continue serving the community and support our mission programs. Development secures financial contributions through various donation opportunities. With the exception of occasional grants, the Arboretum does not receive public funds.   LEARN MORE