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Morton Arboretum

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  • Pine cones' amazing botanical role evolved over millions of years

    Pine cones' amazing botanical role evolved over millions of years
    As you admire your holiday decorations, pause to examine a pine cone (or a spruce cone or a fir cone). What is this dry, brown thing in your hand, with its airy rows of scales? Think of it as something like an egg carton.
  • Lights, lights and more holiday lights

    Lights, lights and more holiday lights
    The holiday season is in full swing with these merry and bright offerings through Jan. 3. Santa House As an alternative to the mall/Santa experience, children and families can visit Jolly Old St. Nick at the Santa House through Dec. 22 on the...

    Christmas tree's iconic shape a nod to Germany's influence

     Christmas tree's iconic shape a nod to Germany's influence
    Oh, Christmas tree! What makes you a Christmas tree? You're a green triangle. That profile is iconic on holiday cards and a strict requirement in Christmas tree lots. But most evergreen trees don't have that triangular silhouette, says Tim White,...

    Mulch's value to plants extends beyond aesthetics

     Mulch's value to plants extends beyond aesthetics
    A tidy layer of mulch in the landscape creates an air of neatness and order. But that's not the best reason to go to the effort. Mulch — if properly applied — is a big help to trees, shrubs and perennials, according to Stephanie Adams,...

    Giving thanks for the pecan tree

    Giving thanks for the pecan tree
    As you enjoy pecan pie this holiday season, consider the pecan: Carya illinoinensis. Yes, as Southern as they may seem, these useful nut trees are native to Illinois — in fact, their natural range is large, extending from Iowa to Florida and from...