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Entries : Morton Arboretum
Morton Arboretum

Morton Arboretum

The Morton Arboretum was founded in 1922 by Joy Morton, president of the Morton Salt Company. With Morton's estate at its core, the Arboretum encompasses 1,700 acres in Lisle. Its collection of living plants includes 3,300 different kinds of plants from around the world. The herbarium, the third largest in the United States, holds 165,000 preserved specimens. The library includes both circulating and rare book and print collections.

Charles Sprague Sargent, director of Harvard's Arnold Arboretum, helped to establish the Morton. He suggested the herbarium and the library, donated collection materials, trained personnel, and recommended landscape architect O. C. Simonds to lay out the Arboretum. Simonds, best-known for his naturalistic style, determined the informal placement of the living collections and the winding roads and paths throughout the property.

Initially, the Arboretum focused on enlarging its living and specimen collections and developing its educational programs. In the 1940s, under naturalist May Theilgaard Watts, the Arboretum established the first public education program in an American arboretum. During the 1950s, the Morton expanded its research programs in practical botany. Today, the Morton Arboretum supports research programs of local and national importance, including the study of trees in the urban environment and the ecology of the Chicago region.

Morton Arboretum Archives.
Morton Arboretum Quarterly. 1965–1995.