Harrison L. Morton

Professor Emeritus


PhD, University of Minnesota (1967)
MS, University of Minnesota (1964)
BS, University of Minnesota (1961) 


Harrison L. Morton, Ph.D., professor of forest pathology, School for Environment and Sustainability, retired from active faculty status on October 31, 2000. He joined the University of Michigan as an assistant professor of forest pathology in 1966 and was promoted to associate professor in 1969 and professor of forest pathology in 1978. Professor Morton served as chair of the forestry department and chair of the fisheries, forestry, and wildlife program. He also served as director, University of Michigan Nichols Arboretum, from 1986-1999, acting dean from 1988-89, associate dean for administration from 1990-92, interim dean 1991-92, and associate dean, School for Environment and Sustainability from 1992-99.

Professor Morton served as director of Nichols Arboretum from 1986-99. In this role, he initiated major programs in support of student research and established a Friends group, a newsletter, and a volunteer docent organization. Through his leadership, funds were raised to move the historic Burnham House to the Arb where it now functions as the Reader Educational Center and home for Arboretum staff. Within the community, Professor Morton instituted Ann Arbor's "tree clinics" and lent his professional expertise to homeowners, UM staff, the Michigan Forestry and Park Association, and the legal profession in the areas of liability and valuation.


Professor Morton's teaching and research focused on the area of tree diseases. He taught introductory and advanced forest pathology courses to students interested in forest production and tree health. He also introduced an undergraduate course in urban forestry, encouraging many students to pursue professional careers with municipalities and the green industry. With a basic interest in microbiology, Professor Morton's research involved tdecay. Particularly interested in Michigan Christmas trees, he described new major foliage diseases on Douglas-fir and unraveled the biology and then disease control using chemical, cultural, and genetic resistance techniques.

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