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These are only recommendations. It’s easy to see a lot in an hour or day at the zoo, whether you want to visit the polar bears or just experience one of Chicago’s best skyline views at Nature Boardwalk.Remember: to promote positive animal welfare, animals may choose to spend time in areas that are out of public view.
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Green & Leafy Tour

Get some shade as you visit some of the trees—some very old, all very beautiful—that helped earn Lincoln Park Zoo arboretum accreditation.

Green & Leafy Tour: Bur Oak

This long-living and majestic oak, which thrives in prairies, has broad-spreading branches and develops thick bark tolerant of once-common prairie fires. Its memorable, large acorns have a fringed cup.


Green & Leafy Tour: Eastern Redbud

A popular landscaping tree, redbud blooms pink flowers in early spring before producing its iconic heart-shaped leaves


Green & Leafy Tour: Flowering Dogwood

Before producing leaves in early spring, the flowering dogwood is distinguishable by the white or pink bracts that form cones around its small clusters of yellow flowers. This tree has very dense wood that has been used to make tools and golf clubs.


Green & Leafy Tour: Ginkgo

Ginkgo, distinguishable by their iconic leaves that turn gold in the fall, are sometimes called “living fossils” because they evolved before dinosaurs and have changed little in the past 270 million years. This species covered North America and Europe, as well, until the last ice age.


Green & Leafy Tour: Goldenrain Tree

In July, small yellow flowers form clusters on the goldenrain tree’s branch tips, but in fall, they turn into papery seed capsules that remain through winter. This tree’s leaves appear lacy


Green & Leafy Tour: Purple Fountain European Beech

A weeping form of the European beech, this tree has dramatic, dark purple foliage. The seeds produced by beech trees are called beechnuts and are a key food source for wildlife.


Green & Leafy Tour: Tulip Poplar

In May and June, this tree blooms yellow tulip-shaped flowers marked with an orange band. In the fall, its leaves turn golden yellow