Tracking Annual Tree Life Cycles

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Plant life history events such as spring leaf out and fall color are often used to track species responses to climate variability and change. The study of these events is called phenology.  In The Morton Arboretum’s Living Collections, we have the opportunity to compare how the phenologies of individuals from multiple species and populations within species are affected by climate.  The main questions we will try to answer by monitoring phenology in the Arboretum’s Living Collections are:

  1. What drives phenological sensitivity to climate?

  2. Can leaf phenology be used as an indicator of species or population vulnerability to climate?

More information about what we’ve seen can be viewed in our biannual phenology reports:

Current phenology volunteers at The Morton Arboretum, should check out our phenology page for resources. If you are interested in becoming on of our phenology citizen science volunteers, please contact Christy or Brendon for more information.