Wide Variety Of Native, Exotic Trees Creates Multiple “Peak” Viewing Weeks
Fireworks of fall color are getting ready to explode and amaze visitors at The Morton Arboretum. Seventeen hundred beautiful acres feature 186,000 trees and other plants formally registered into the living collections, plus thousands more in the woodlands. With trees from 40 countries, it’s like a world of fall color, all in one place. And something is peaking every week in autumn.
The rare exotics include a large collection of maples native to Europe, Korea, China and Japan; hornbeams native to Europe and Iran; oaks native to Asia; beeches native to Crimea; zelkovas native to Azerbaijan; and many other species that aren’t found in most parks, forest preserves, or city blocks in the Midwest.
The Fall Color Show typically opens in late September, with sumacs turning bright red, buckeyes becoming yellowish-brown and walnuts turning yellow. Virginia creeper vines with their red to wine colors create a stunning contrast to the brown trunks they encircle.
In early October, expect the kings of fall color, the sugar maples, to bring yellows, oranges, and reds to the landscape. Also turning a variety of colors are hackberry, katsura, corktree, coffeetree, redbud, green ash, white ash, larches, pawpaw, beeches amur, and Japanese maples. Through mid-October, look for sugar, silver, Freeman, Miyabei, and red maples; along with hickories, bur oak, persimmon, sassafras, lindens, and black gum to be the “scene stealers.” Hickories, cherries, hazelnuts, and witch-hazels are also in color. In late October and early November, check out the white oaks turning wine purple, pin and red oaks becoming red, and the callery and Ussurian pear trees bringing up the rear, holding onto their colors until the frost.
Visitors can hike the 16 miles of trails, drive or bicycle the nine miles of roads, or catch an Arboretum tram to take in the stunning vistas. A “Bloom ‘n Color” report, available during the fall color season at www.mortonarb.org and 630-719-7955 for updates.
The Morton Arboretum is a world-renowned leader in tree science and education, working to save and plant trees. The 1,700-acre outdoor museum features magnificent collections of 4,117 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. Central Time until sunset.