The Morton Arboretum Launches New Tree Initiative

April 23, 2022
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The Morton Arboretum Launches New Tree Initiative

“So trees do so many different things. It’s hard to think of anything else that returns so many more benefits than planting trees. So why don’t we do more of that,” said Gerald Donnelly, CEO of The Morton Arboretum

New Tree Initiative

The Morton Arboretum kicked off Earth Day by launching the Centennial Tree Planting Initiative as part of its 100-year anniversary celebration. 3,000 trees will be planted across seven counties of the Chicagoland area. There will be roughly 21 different species planted from April 2022 to May 2023 to help add to the diversity of the regional forest and strengthen its resistance to threats like pests and disease.

Planting Trees for 2022

Lydia Scott, Director of the Chicago Region Trees Initiative will help in organizing the planting of the new trees. She talked about the importance of tree diversification.

“We have age diversity in our trees. So that one, we don’t want all the trees the same age. So they’re all dying at the same time. But bigger trees and older trees provide more carbon storage than do smaller trees,” said director Lydia Scott

Importance of Trees

Older trees have died due to age, rotting roots, and high winds that rips them out of the ground. During Friday’s event, CEO Gerald Donnelly spoke about how replacing them is crucial, as trees are important to our everyday life.

“They filter pollutants from the air and water; pollutants that we would rather not breathe in or drink. And they also help reduce stormwater runoff. And of course, they add beauty and value to our homes and our communities and support a diversity of other living things,” said CEO Gerald Donnelly of the Morton Arboretum.

More than 300 trees planted in the initiative will be placed in locals areas hit by the EF3 tornado in June 2021, including Naperville.


Originally 1,000 trees were going to be planted but thanks to a large donation from Susan and Stephen Baird along donations from residents 3,000 trees will now be planted this year.

To conclude the event, a Linden tree was planted at the arboretum.

For Naperville News 17 I’m Tim Jacobi

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