Mission

The Morton Arboretum is The Champion of Trees.

The Morton Arboretum’s mission is to collect and study trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world, to display them across naturally beautiful landscapes for people to study and enjoy, and to learn how to grow them in ways that enhance our environment. Our goal is to encourage the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world.

Helping Trees Thrive

Trees need champions today more than ever before. Their survival depends on people taking action to plant and protect them. Trees filter the air and water, reduce energy use, furnish wildlife habitats, and create beauty, and they need human help to continue. That’s why The Morton Arboretum is committed to scientifically informed action for trees, both locally and globally. The Arboretum is The Champion of Trees, making an impact through science and conservation, education and outreach, and plant collections.

A Place for Trees and People

The Arboretum features plant collections and gardens amid natural landscapes of woodlands, prairie, lakes, and streams. Its living collections include 222,000 plant specimens representing 4,650 different kinds of plants. Additionally, guests can enjoy 16 miles of hiking trails, nine miles of roads, a Children’s Garden, educational programs and exhibits, the Sterling Morton Library of botanical literature and art, a Visitor Center with a museum store and a restaurant, special events, and seasonal exhibitions.

Strategic Plan

Propelling the Arboretum into its second century, the Strategic Plan 2020 outlines four primary pursuits toward achieving the organization’s long-term vision.

Trees

Enact science-based tree planting and conservation in a changing world

Climate

Ensure resilient trees for the future at the Arboretum and in the Chicago region

Sustainability

Enable a sustainable future for trees, people, and the Arboretum

Inclusion

Engage and reflect diverse audiences to serve the broader public good

Inspiring people to plant and protect trees for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world

World-Renowned Leader in Tree Science

The Arboretum conducts leading scientific research on tree health and improvement, and grows and displays a diversity of trees for study and enjoyment throughout its 1,700 acres. The Arboretum leads collaborations throughout the Chicago region and around the world to maximize its impact and ensure trees thrive.

Learn more: World-Renowned Leader in Tree Science

Founded in 1922 by Joy Morton

When Joy Morton established The Morton Arboretum, he envisioned a great outdoor museum of trees. Nearly 100 years later, Mr. Morton’s vision is shared with millions of people who come to the Arboretum to experience the benefits of spending time among trees, to learn, or enjoy the beauty of plants and nature that inspire the arts. He recognized the essential need that remains today for a place to treasure being among trees and to study them for the well-being of people and the environment.

Learn more: Founded in 1922 by Joy Morton