Situated among the trees of our nationally accredited east side magnolia, crabapple, and linden collections are a series of new gathering spaces and artwork, designed to entice visitors to further their exploration of the three collections.
Within the Arboretum’s collection of crabapple trees—their branches adorned with fruit in autumn and delicate blossoms in shades of white, light pink, and vibrant magenta in spring—sits a distinctive picnic table over which arches a structure resembling an apple.
A walk through the magnolia collection, bursting with pink, white, and yellow blooms in spring and glossy dark green leaves in summer, reveals a cedar swing. The swing was inspired by the magnolia tree’s Southern heritage, reminiscent of unhurried summer days taking in the view from verandas and porches.
Tucked in among the tall and stately trees of the linden collection, which turn a buttery yellow in fall, is a honeycomb-shaped pergola crafted from cedar. A bench within its columns is the perfect place to take a moment and look up at the sky through the structure’s geometric pattern overhead—the motif a reference to the honey that bees create from collecting linden flower nectar.
Exploring the area, visitors will also find a large-scale photograph in each collection of that tree’s leaves and flowers.
"As a living museum of trees, the Arboretum's role is to create connections between people and the trees and nature that surround us," said Sarah Sargent, Manager of Interpretation and Exhibits at The Morton Arboretum. "The unique new installations and information in our magnolia, linden, and crabapple tree collections are designed to inspire and educate visitors, underscoring the value these special trees bring to our lives."
The Arboretum’s collections have been recognized by the American Public Gardens Association’s Plant Collection Network for their conservation value, genetic diversity, and accessibility for research purposes.
Look for the crabapple, magnolia, and linden collections between P4 and P6 along the Arboretum’s East Side Main Route. Visitors can also find information on the Collections and Creations Tour on The Morton Arboretum’s app.
This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).