Bloom and Fall Color Reports

Fall Color Report: October 13 – October 19, 2023

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October 13, 2023

The cool nights and sunny days of the past week have helped the trees and plants of The Morton Arboretum display promising signs of richer fall color. Rain and cooler temperatures this week may still slow the development of colorful leaves.

In the parking lots near the Visitor Center (Parking Lot 1) and Thornhill Education Center (Parking Lot 22), vibrant reds can be seen prominently in Freeman maples. The bright yellows on redbuds and Miyabe’s maples are accented by the rich purples of nearby oak-leaved hydrangeas.

In the Arboretum’s tree collections, yellows and golds are beginning to emerge most noticeably in the Elm Collection near Parking Lot 1. Elsewhere in the collections, yellows are showing in hackberries, redbuds, corktrees, coffeetrees, honey-locusts, hickories, black walnuts, cottonwoods, witch-hazels, and catalpas. A few viburnums and flowering dogwoods have turned purple-red, adding color to semi-shaded areas, while sumacs, Virginia creeper, and poison-ivy have turned vivid red in spots with full sun.

In the woodlands, late-blooming Drummond’s asters add blue floral accents to the ground layer. In the understory, the leaves of ironwood, basswood, and American elm are turning yellow-green. Overhead in the tree canopy, the tops of sugar maples are showing hints of their signature bold oranges and yellows.

In the Schulenberg Prairie near Parking Lot 25, native grasses are blooming and setting seeds while yellow goldenrods, blue gentians, and purple asters add pops of color to the landscape.

The seasonal plantings and container displays found near The Gerard T. Donnelly Grand Garden, Visitor Center, and Arbor Court are especially worth a visit to see the festive display of pumpkins.

Driving along the Arboretum’s roads, visitors will have many opportunities to take in the fall color: the East Woods in parking lots 8 through 15; the Maple Collection near parking lots 8 and 14; the Schulenberg Prairie near Parking Lot 25; and Lake Marmo near parking lots 27 and 28.

The fall color season is progressing nicely at The Morton Arboretum. The many colors found in the landscapes and gardens will be changing almost daily as the season continues. Plan your visit today!



About the Fall Color Report

The Fall Color Report is written by the Arboretum’s manager of plant records, Ed Hedborn. It is typically published on Fridays throughout the fall to give members and guests a chance to plan their weekend visits. The Arboretum also publishes a weekly Bloom Report in springtime.


Fall at The Morton Arboretum

The Morton Arboretum is more than a walk in the woods. Explore upcoming learning opportunities and events to learn more about trees and plants and to celebrate your love of nature.

Experience the Arboretum’s Fall Color Festival, happening throughout the season. Visitors can enjoy daily events, the annual Scarecrow Trail, the award-winning Children’s Garden, and special seasonal concessions in Arbor Court. Plan your visit today!

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When a trip to the Arboretum inspires you to explore more, become a member to visit again and again.

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