Each year, The Morton Arboretum’s trees are a prime stop for area leaf-peepers, as many of the Arboretum’s 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 Arboretum’s color each week during the season.
Color is increasing at the Arboretum. Hackberries and redbuds are turning a deeper yellow, while red is more pronounced on sumacs, poison-ivy and Virginia creeper vines in sunny locations. American ashes (especially ‘Autumn Purple’) have turned dark purple, while Ohio buckeyes are dark yellow. In the woods, ironwoods and redbuds are yellow and sugar maples are turning a paler green with hints of orange in their tops. Warm, bright sunny days and cool nights are helping move our color season along.
For the latest fall color updates from the Arboretum, visit mortonarb.org/whats-in-bloom or call the Bloom 'n Color Hotline at 630-719-7955.
- Visitor Center: Redbuds are showing yellow leaves and a red tint has appeared on the Freeman maples at the ends of the medians. ‘Autumn Purple’ white ashes show dark purple, blackhaw leaves are deep maroon and witch-hazels are beginning to show some yellow.
- Meadow Lake: Prairie grasses are turning yellow, tan and russet colors and their interesting seed heads have opened.
- Northern Illinois & Midwest Collections: Hackberries and redbuds are yellow, tupelo is changing to scarlet, red maple is turning and Kentucky coffeetrees are dropping yellow leaves as they change.
- Frost Hill: Sumacs in the Northern Illinois collection are red and buckeyes are turning brownish-yellow. Hackberries are turning yellow, while pin oaks and European beeches are turning yellowish-green.
- Buckeye Collection: Buckeyes are turning brownish-yellow and dropping some leaves. The red maple to the north is turning yellow and red.
- Maple and Oak Collections: Freeman maples show yellows and reds in their leaves. Common hackberries are yellow. ‘Autumn Applause’ white ash is dark purple and redbuds show yellow.
- East Woods: Ironwoods and redbuds are turning yellow. Oaks and walnuts are dropping their nuts. White ash shows shades of purple, while sugar maples are paler green with hints of orange in their tops.
- Maple & Beech Collections: There is scattered fall color in the Maple collection, while beech leaves just beginning to lighten and show yellows and browns.
- Appalachia, China & Japan Collections: Flowering dogwoods are showing reddish-purple in their leaves. Ash leaves are showing purples and yellows, while pawpaw is turning yellow in the sunny areas.
- Elm, Hackberry, Linden & Corktree Collections: Some elms are starting to turn a lighter green. Common hackberries and redbuds are yellow and corktrees are showing yellowish-green. The large yellow buckeye has started to change a warm yellow-gold. Sumacs are washed with reds and yellows as they turn.
- West Side Main Route: Oaks are still summer green, but some Virginia creeper and poison-ivy vines are showing purple-red color and redbuds are turning yellow.
- Crabapple & Europe Collections: Scattered crabapple leaves are just starting to turn yellow and fall, exposing the trees’ colorful fruit.
- Founder’s Grove: Redbuds are turning yellow, while a few late asters still bloom in white and blue.
- Thornhill Education Center: The leaves of Viburnum plicatum ‘Mariesii’ are dark maroon. Hackberries are yellow and redbuds are turning yellow. Sumacs are beginning to turn red, and sugar maples are showing tints of red and orange.
- Alternate Route & Lake Marmo: Yellow shows on redbuds and hackberries, with the color just beginning to appear on ironwoods. Bitternut hickories are turning a warm golden-yellow. Hints of orange can be seen on sugar maples to the north of Lake Marmo. Purple is starting to show on the large Freeman maple on the north side of the lake.
- Schulenberg Prairie: Grasses are ripening and beginning to change color, with their seed heads opening. Fall asters still show some whites and purples.
- Sterling Pond: Sugar maples on the east side of the pond are showing hints of orange color in their tops.
- Birch Collection: Some birches are beginning to turn yellow and lose their leaves.
- Nut Tree Collection: Leaves on walnuts are turning yellow and dropping.
- DuPage River: Redbuds are turning yellow and Miyabe maples are showing hints of yellow.
- River Bridge area & Ozark Collection: Peking lilac leaves are starting to lighten, while cottonwood leaves are lightening and dropping.