The Morton Arboretum is a magnificent outdoor museum with a mission to collect and study trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world, to display them across naturally beautiful landscapes for people to study and enjoy, and to learn how to grow them in ways that enhance our environment. Yearly, over one million people visit the living collections, which include 222,000 plant specimens representing 4,100 different kinds of plants.
The Morton Arboretum has a robust research program and practices science-informed conservation at local and global levels. The Center for Tree Science generates and communicates the scientific knowledge and technical expertise necessary to understand and sustain trees and their ecosystems, in all their diversity, in built environments, natural landscapes, and living collections. Co-located with research labs at the Arboretum is a Herbarium with a collection of 205,000 dried specimens for botanical research. Through the Global Tree Conservation Program, the Arboretum leads partnerships and assists efforts to prevent tree extinction and secure threatened tree species, with a focus on oaks. The Chicago Region Trees Initiative develops strategies for urban tree and forest improvement, advocating for trees in 284 communities in seven counties. ArbNet, facilitated by The Morton Arboretum, is an interactive professional community of arboreta and an arboretum accreditation program, which fosters advancements among tree-focused gardens.