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This year marks the centennial of the Morton Arboretum in DuPage County. Fifty years before it was established, the founder’s father started Arbor Day.  (WTTW News)

This year marks the centennial of the Morton Arboretum in DuPage County. Fifty years before it was established, the founder’s father started Arbor Day. Producer Marc Vitali visited the 1,700-acre public garden for a bit of history and to meet a photographer who has explored the place since his first visit in the 1960s.

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Scientists gather around what may be a lateleaf oak, thought to be extinct. In Big Bend National Park, May 2022. (Courtesy of U.S. Botanic Garden)

The lateleaf oak has confounded botanists since it was first discovered in the 1930s. Scientists have been hard-pressed to find a single surviving example in recent decades. But a new discovery, pending genetic testing by Morton Arboretum, could put the tree back on the map. 

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The Field Museum’s historic egg collection is shedding new light on climate change. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

A new study led by the Field Museum shows that a number of bird species are laying their eggs nearly a month earlier than 100 years ago, likely due to climate change.

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Artist John Bannon works on his tree sculpture “Y Knot” on March 4, 2022, in Hollywood Park as part of the Chicago Tree Project program. (WTTW News)

The overall number of trees in the region has increased, according to a 2020 tree census conducted by Morton Arboretum.  But not all trees are seen as equals. Some are invasive and prevent native trees and plants from flourishing. 

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Although they look like wood, Daniel Popper's sculptures in the Human + Nature exhibit are made of concerete. (WTTW News)
Nestled between Wheaton and Naperville in the western suburbs, Lisle is home to the Morton Arboretum, the North American Pizza and Culinary Academy and the Bavarian Lodge. As part of our community reporting series, we check in to see how Lisle is recovering from the pandemic.
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One of the "Human+Nature" sculptures at Morton Arboretum. (Courtesy of Morton Arboretum)

Along with the kick off to beach season, a number of other outdoor attractions are opening up in Chicago over Memorial Day weekend.

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The biggest change between the 2010 tree census and 2020's was the loss of 6 million ash trees. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Between 2010 and 2020, Chicago’s canopy cover decreased from 19% to 16%, largely due to the loss of mature ash trees, according to the 2020 tree census spearheaded by the Morton Arboretum. 

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Mid-to-late May is the safest bet for most planting in Chicago. (Lukas / Pexels)

It’s easy to forget the cruelest April Fool’s joke: The season’s last frost is likely several weeks away, meaning it’s far too early to put most plants in the ground.

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Cook County Forest Preserve stewardship days have looked different during the coronavirus pandemic. (Forest Preserve District of Cook County / Facebook)

Green spaces have seen unprecedented use during the pandemic, which has left land stewards overwhelmed by crowds, but heartened to see so many new visitors.

OAKtober Campaign Aims to Raise Awareness, Spur Action

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(Mabel Amber / Pixabay)

Oak was once the predominant tree in the Chicago area. Now most of them are gone. Ecologists have a plan to make sure they don’t disappear from the region entirely, and they need our help.

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What triggers the internal prompt that tells a tree "Oh hey, winter's coming"? It's a mystery to researchers. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

There’s still a lot that scientists don’t understand about what makes trees tick, especially when it comes to fall color. A team at the Morton Arboretum is working to unlock those secrets.

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A census of the Chicago region's trees, last tallied at 157 million in 2010, is in progress. (Brian Crawford / Flickr)

The 2020 census of the region’s trees — the largest undertaking of its kind in the country — will build on the inaugural 2010 count and help municipalities set priorities for creating healthier green infrastructure, particularly in underserved communities.

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Neighbors in Ravenswood Manor are raising funds to save the area’s parkway ash trees. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The city has given up on its ash trees, but some Chicagoans refuse to let theirs die.

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The new exhibition “Nature Connects” adds colorful creatures to the arboretum’s grounds using more than half a million Lego bricks.

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We take you on a visit to the west suburban forest under the watchful eye of six suspicious – and sizable – trolls.

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A group of residents is getting back to its roots—literally—by partnering with the Morton Arboretum to harness the positive impact of trees on everything from the crime rate to the business community.