Morton Arboretum – Illinois

When Is the Best Time

The best time to visit Morton Arboretum in Illinois is in the springtime when it erupts with stunning beauty creating a sea of yellow in Daffodil Glade. Otherwise, in the winter to see the annual illumination of the trees.

Review and Tips

The mission of The Morton Arboretum is to collect and study trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum maintains living collections on display across naturally beautiful landscapes for people to study and enjoy, and to learn how to grow them in ways that enhance the environment.

There are two distinct sides at the Arboretum that make up a total of 1,700 acres. The east side which is highly curated, extremely accessible for those that use wheelchairs, has a visitor center, café, gift shop, children’s garden, and expansive grounds which often host art exhibits of unusual, large-scale kinds that incorporate the trees.

Then there is the west side, which has ample trails and a more serene setting that fewer visitors make their way to. My personal preference is the west side where I regularly go to steal quite moments, sit and read, or explore in more detail, the trees and wildlife.

While this is a privately owned nature reserve, it is worth paying admission to study the trees from all around the world. Springtime is glorious, on the west side there is a spot called Daffodil Glade that erupts in a sea of yellow each spring. For bloom status, check the website, Facebook page, or call the Morton Arboretum. In the winter, Illumination is a grand walk through spectacularly lit forests. Here’s a video link


History: The Morton Arboretum was founded in 1922 by Joy Morton (1855-1934). The inspiration for the Arboretum had its origins in Mr. Morton’s own family tree. His father, J. Sterling Morton (1832–1902), was the founder of the original Arbor Day.

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