Cool nights and warmer days have been bringing out fall leaf colors in the tree collections and woodlands of The Morton Arboretum. Many hues can be seen near parking lots of the Visitor Center (Parking Lot 1) and the Thornhill Education Center (Parking Lot 21): reds in Freeman maples; yellow in hackberries, redbuds, and Miyabe maples; and purple in oak-leaved hydrangeas.
In the woodlands, such as the East Woods (parking lots 9 to 13) and along the West Side Alternate Route (parking lots 26 to 28), late-blooming asters still show shades of light blue in the layer of plants along the ground while leaves around them are beginning to turn yellow. Overhead, the tops of sugar maples are beginning to turn yellow.
In the tree collections, yellow color is showing in hackberries, corktrees, coffeetrees, hickories, walnuts, cottonwoods, elms, and catalpas. The Arboretum’s few remaining white ash trees are purple. Acorns and walnuts are dropping. Look for red sumacs and the occasional Virginia creeper or poison-ivy vine in sunny areas. In the Schulenberg Prairie (Parking Lot 25), grasses are blooming and setting seeds while gentians and asters are in flower.
In the area around the Visitor Center, including Arbor Court and The Gerard T. Donnelly Grand Garden (Parking Lot 1), containers and beds are full of cheery, colorful autumn flowers.
The fall color season is here. Plan to visit regularly through the next few weeks, because the colors will be changing daily as the season progresses. There’s always more to enjoy.