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Guided Tree and Plant Walks

Series of the Seasons: Vernal Equinox Tree Tour

Join us in celebrating the vernal equinox by taking a tour around the Fell Arboretum to admire the trees that are early to bloom and eager to bud! The tour is free to ISU students, staff, faculty, and members of the public, no registration required. The tour will begin at the west entrance of the Felmley Hall of Science on Illinois State University’s campus on March 19th at noon and end on ISU’s Quad at 1PM. This is the first of a four part series of tree tours that highlight the seasons in the Fell Arboretum.


Schedule a Tree Tour for you & your group

Guided walks are hosted at Illinois State University on the 490 acre campus. The guided walks are designed to speak to the interests of various groups. The walks are a perfect activity for all kinds of groups, examples would include: school children, professional organizations, academic groups, scouting, retirees, garden enthusiasts, landscape professionals, artists, history enthusiast, and others.

During these walks, you will be able to see the details of trees that may often be overlooked. You might learn of trees and plants that you would like to see in your own landscape, or smell the winter green in Birch bark, or possibly even find rubber growing in trees.

General Information & Tips

  • Starting location will vary based on the audience
  • Event duration is an hour or less
  • Wear sensible walking shoes
  • Dress for the weather
  • Bring your camera
  • Ask questions
  • Bring along some hydration

Further tree walk information is available by calling/emailing Biological Sciences at:

(309) 483-3800

Community Outreach

Illinois State University and The Fell Arboretum value the long-standing relationship between the university and the surrounding community.  Community outreach is vital to the mission of the Fell Arboretum.  Important community outreach activities include the following:

  • Support of community and college horticulture and gardening clubs
  • Educational presentations and guest speaking at various community locations
  • Support of local nature centers and preservation areas
    • Funk’s Grove Nature Center
    • Parkland’s Foundation Preserve
    • Children and Elder’s Forest

Fell Arboretum Plant Sale

This event was started in 1870 by Jessie Fell and offers a unique experience for all.  Although they sold oats and potatoes in Fell’s era, today more difficult-to-find plants that have been grown at Illinois State University are available for purchase.  Interesting selections include the following examples:

  • Heirloom tomatoes & other produce vegetables
  • Native prairie plants, such as Rattle Snake Master or Compass Plant
  • Woodland wild flowers
  • Delightfully odd trees

Illinois State University faculty, staff and students will provide customers with answers to all of their plant and gardening questions.  All sale proceeds directly support the Fell Arboretum.

The plant sale has historically taken place on the first Saturday in the month of May. The sale is not planned for 2023, the Tree Campus Higher Education Committee is considering new possibilities - please stay tuned.

Arbor Day/Earth Day Events

In the spirit of Jesse Fell, Illinois State University hosts a variety of events focused on the celebration of trees and the conservation of nature. Such events include:

  • Tree planting demonstrations
  • Tree care workshops
  • Tree dedications
  • Pioneer tool workshops
  • Seed collection outings

Earth Day Events

Join us at Sustainability's Earth Day Breakfast, April 18, 2024 featuring Keynote Speaker artist-activist, LaToya Ruby Frazier. It will be from 8-10AM in the Brown Ballroom, at Illinois State University. Get your tickets using this link.

Arbor Day Events

Stay tuned for information about upcoming Arbor Day tree plantings.