In April we celebrate Arbor Day, a holiday dedicated to planting, caring for, and celebrating trees. To encourage the planting of trees, the first Arbor Day was organized in tree-barren Nebraska in 1872. The Morton family motto was “Plant Trees,” which inspired Joy Morton, president of the Morton Salt Company in Chicago, to carry on the tradition by establishing The Morton Arboretum in 1922. Today, all 50 states and many countries around the world recognize Arbor Day in honor of trees and their value to us. Arbor Day in Illinois is the last Friday in April, but other states observe Arbor Day on different dates according to their best tree-planting times.
Adding trees that are properly selected and placed to your home landscape can yield economical, environmental, and social benefits. Consider adding a tree to your landscape! For more information on how to plant a tree, view the Arboretum’s webpage How to Plant Trees and explore the resources below.
Matching the tree species to the site where you are planning to plant it is crucial for the tree’s success. Explore the Chicago Region Tree Initiative’s Homeowner Hub for trusted information on selecting, planting, and caring for trees.
The Arboretum’s Selecting and Planting Trees Guide can assist you in selecting a tree that will thrive in our region and give you tips on how to plant your tree.
The Arboretum’s Northern Illinois Tree Species list describes trees that grow well in Northern Illinois with recommendations on planting sites for each species.
For additional guidance, check out the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to determine if your tree will be a good fit for your region.
Ready to take an even deeper dive? Take a look at some of the resources available through the Sterling Morton Library.