Spruce Plot

Landmarks, 2.59492

East Woods
1923 created

[The Spruce Plot] is kind of magical. There's something so peaceful in that cathedral of trees....You don't usually get that kind of a forest feeling in Illinois.
--A Member of The Morton Arboretum, 2015

As European settlers arrived to the area that would become The Morton Arboretum, the East Woods were divided into timber lots, several of which were clear-cut. When Joy Morton acquired the land for the Arboretum, he planted forestry plots in these clear-cut areas to see if he could produce a lumber crop. The Spruce Plot, surrounded by native woodlands on the Arboretum's East Side, was one of these experimental forestry plots. After Scots Pines failed to thrive on the plot, the Arboretum planted white, blue, and Norway spruce trees in 1923. Because the spruce trees were planted close to each other, they shade out each other's lower branches, contributing to the trees' tall, bare trunks and shafts of sunlight that peek through the tree canopy which many visitors find so enchanting.