The Morton Arboretum’s trees are a prime stop for area leaf-peepers, as many of the 4,200 varieties of trees turn a brilliant palette of vibrant reds, oranges and golds. Ed Hedborn is the Arboretum’s official fall color scout, and reports on the stages of color each week during the season.
Currently, some of the best color is in the East Woods, with sugar maples showing yellow and yellowish-orange this year. For the latest fall color updates from the Arboretum in Lisle, visit mortonarb.org/whats-in-bloom or call the Bloom 'n Color Hotline at 630-719-7955.
Ed Hedborn updates
This is the weekend to visit the East Woods to view the sugar maples. They are showing yellow and pale yellowish-orange this year. The oaks are also beginning to put on a show with yellow and yellow-browns the dominant colors.
Visitor Center: The Freeman maples at the ends of the medians are red but starting to drop, serviceberries are red and reddish-yellow, the Ussuri pear is yellow and the Miyabe maples are turning yellow.
Meadow Lake: Our prairie grasses are yellow, tan and russet, sycamores are yellow-brown, chinkapin oaks are yellow-brown, black-gums are yellow and the river birches are dropping their yellow leaves.
Elm, Hackberry, Linden and Corktree Collections: The elm collection is in its prime with yellow and golden yellow-browns dominating and the large yellow buckeye is a warm yellow-gold.
Northern Illinois & Midwest: Our hickories are golden-yellow, sugar and black maples are turning yellow-orange, redbuds are yellow and dropping, the tupelo is touched by frost and is showing russet and American elms are yellow.
Frost Hill: The view across the river valley is showing yellows and yellow-oranges, pin oaks are yellow-green, European beech are turning a yellowish-brown, magnolias are yellow, Japanese zelkovas are turning yellow-green, dawn-redwoods are a coppery-brown and the columnar maples are showing yellows and yellow-oranges.
Rose Family-Crabapple Lake: The mountain-ash are reddish and showing some red fruits remaining, crabapples are losing their leaves and are showing off yellow and red fruits, oaks are turning yellow-brown, honey locusts are turning yellow and pears are starting to turn yellowish.
Buckeyes: The red maple to the north is a warm reddish-yellow, pin oaks are turning yellow-green, bur oaks and lindens are turning yellow-brown and elms are yellow.
Maple and Oak Collections: Yellows, oranges and reds show throughout the maple collection, and green, yellows and oranges are showing in the oak collection.
East Woods: We have a prime viewing here. The sugar maples are yellow and pale orange-yellow, and the elms, black cherries, ironwoods and redbuds are all clear yellow this year.
Maples and Beeches: There are yellow, orange and red fall colors in the maple collection and the beech leaves show green, yellows and browns.
Appalachian to Japan Collections: The flowering dogwoods are showing red-purple in their leaves, sugar maples show yellows and orange-yellow, Miyabe maples show yellow, pawpaws are yellow in the sunny areas, Asian maples are showing reds, yellows and oranges, the larches have started to turn yellow but the ginkgoes were touched by the frost and lost their still green leaves.
Sumacs: Our sumacs are showing some bare stems, reds, oranges and yellows as they turn.
River Bridge area & Ozarks: The American beeches are turning yellow and brown, Peking lilac leaves are yellow, swamp white oaks are yellow-brown and the tupelo shows red-yellow.
Crabapples & Europe: Crabapple leaves are yellow and dropping exposing their yellow and red fruits.
Founder’s Grove: Redbuds are yellow and dropping with white oaks showing yellow-browns with only a hint of purple.
Thornhill: Our elms are yellow & golden-yellow near the building, the honey locusts are yellow, the redbuds are yellow and dropping, the sumacs are red and sugar maples are showing yellow, red and orange.
Alternate Route & Lake Marmo: The redbuds, hackberries and ironwoods are dropping yellow leaves, bitternut hickories are golden-yellow, sugar maples to the north of Lake Marmo are yellow, large Freeman maple on the north side of the lake is purple and the surrounding oaks are turning yellow-brown.
Main Route: The oaks are turning yellow, yellow-brown and reddish-brown, hickories are golden-yellow and the scattered redbuds are dropping yellow leaves.
Schulenberg Prairie: The russet and yellow grasses, red sumacs, coppery hazelnuts and yellow-brown oaks are the show here.
Sterling Pond: The sugar maples on the east side of the pond show orange-yellow with yellow-brown oaks.
Birch Collection: The birches continue to turn yellow and drop, opening up their white peeling bark to view.
Nut Tree Collection: The pecans are showing bits of golden-yellow and the sugar maples are turning orange-yellow and yellow near the river bridge.
DuPage River: Redbuds and Miyabe maples are yellow and beginning to drop.
About The Morton Arboretum
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized outdoor tree museum on 1,700 acres. It is open daily from 7 a.m. until sunset. Learn more at mortonarb.org.
Nonmember admission rates are $12 for adults ages 18 to 64 ($8 on Wednesday), $11 for seniors ages 65 and older ($7 on Wednesday), $9 for children ages 2 to 17 ($6 on Wednesday) and free for children younger than 2. Parking is free with admission.