(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The Chicago Park District also received nearly $1.5 million to conduct an inventory. Morton Arboretum's Chicago Region Trees Initiative is administering the grants on behalf of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Zach Wirtz. (Courtesy of The Morton Arboretum)

CRTI connects organizations — public and private — across the seven-county Chicago area to promote the importance of trees and improve the quality of the region's tree canopy.

Hordes of female periodical cicadas will be laying their eggs in small tree branches. (Armed Forces Pest Management Board / Flickr Creative Commons)

Young trees could be vulnerable to damage from the emergence of millions of periodical cicadas in Illinois this spring. Here are tips on how to protect your trees.

Adult spotted lanternfly. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

Experts said the pest’s eggs, which will hatch in spring, are able to withstand the recent arctic blast.

River Park, Chicago. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The fall foliage season got off to a slow start in the Chicago region but is making up for lost time. We’ve rounded up some resources to help you make the most of Mother Nature’s spectacular, but short-lived, autumnal display.

Spotted lanternfly adult (left) and nymphs. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

The first sighting of the invasive pest was confirmed in Chicago, but we’re years from a major infestation and have learned from cities like Pittsburgh how to minimize the nuisance, an expert said.

Celebración de los Árboles 2022. (Courtesy of Morton Arboretum)

This month, the Morton Arboretum is inviting people to get back in touch with their roots with a variety of events and programs highlighting Latino cultures and communities, beginning with the Celebración de los Árboles on Sept. 16-17.

A street tree planted in Chicago in 2022. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

When it comes to alleviating the impacts of climate change, trees have been promoted as the ultimate “green infrastructure.” But trees are living organisms, and they can be sensitive to some of the same climate stressors as people. But just how sensitive?

Silvia Alvarez-Clare of Morton Arboretum measures a tree’s diameter in Costa Rica. (The Morton Arboretum)

“This is providing the means for us to collaborate not only within the Chicagoland area but to really make a difference in biodiversity hot spots across the globe,” said Chuck Knapp, vice president of conservation research at Shedd Aquarium.


Headlines spun out of control when it came to new research results on the Earth’s core. In other news, narwhals have had it with noisy neighbors.

Jill Koski. (Courtesy of Morton Arboretum)

Morton Arboretum conducted an international search to select a successor to retiring CEO and president Gerard Donnelly, and landed on a familiar face, close to home.

Bur oak is one of more than 80 oak species native to the U.S. (Karen Roussel / Flickr Creative Commons)

A team of researchers, led by Morton Arboretum, spent the better part of the past five years creating the first-ever standardized checklist and threat assessment of the nearly 900 species native U.S. trees. Their work provides the foundation on which to build awareness, advocacy and future conservation efforts.

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.

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. 

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.

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.