The Conifer Collection at The Morton Arboretum shows the incredible diversity of coniferous species, highlighting dramatic differences in foliage density, shape, color, size, and growth form; contrasts in bark texture and color; and variety of cone shape and color.
Conifers are incredibly important throughout the world’s landscapes. The Conifer Collection displays the immense diversity among the many conifers that can grow in this region. Coniferous trees, or trees that bear cones, exist in many forms besides the archetypal Christmas tree, with its pyramidal form and dark evergreen needles. Plants in this collection can be trees or shrubs, large or small, have dark green to blue to lime green foliage; and needles that can be long and pointed, or short and scale-like. Conifers can have a columnar or rounded shape, can be low-growing shrubs, or giants piercing the sky.
This incredible diversity has been beautifully displayed across 22 acres. The Conifer Walk is a great way to explore this collection. Plants are grouped by family, to facilitate the understanding of the features in each member. As you walk the trail you will encounter: cypress family (including Juniperus, Cupressus, Chamaecyparis, and Thuja), pine family (Tsuga, Picea, Pinus, Pseudotsuga, Abies, and Larix), ginkgo family (Ginkgo), and yew family (Taxus and Cephalotaxus ). The Garden Conifer Collection is in a large bed south of the Conifer Walk. The trail can be reached by walking south on the sidewalk between the Children’s and Maze Gardens.
Explore the Conifer Walk to see what conifers capture your interest. It is an enjoyable walk and a special treat in the wintertime. Venture off the trail to get a closer look at trees that interest you.