"Growing trees is as much an art as it is a science." - Becky Thomas
"When you plant a tree, you plant a legacy," - Pepper Provanzano
"The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you need trees for projects this summer or fall – chances are we have what you need!

Our Holding Yard is very well-maintained with all of the trees situated on drip irrigation to keep them looking fresh on your jobsite.  We are available for loading here at the nursery or we can offer delivery services as well.  Give us a call anytime to check availability & our loading/delivery schedule. We still have over 500 trees above ground here in our Holding Yard!

Please join us anytime at our nursery for a tour of the beautiful selection of trees ready to ship & growing in our fields for the future!

Holding yard July 2017

Becky is proud to represent the IGIA as the new president for this upcoming year. Please join us in making IGIA a great association for our green industry here in Illinois!

Click here to read more: IGIA New Board President Becky Thomas

New IGIA President Becky Thomas presents out going President Mark McWilliams with his plaque.
New IGIA President Becky Thomas presents out going President Mark McWilliams with his plaque.

IGIA President

The IGIA Summer Conference was a huge hit! It was fun to resurrect this old tradition and spend time with IGIA friends & colleagues.  Below are some fun pics from the event. Make sure to join us next summer in Galena!

 

 

 
New IGIA President Becky Thomas presents out going President Mark McWilliams with his plaque.
New IGIA President Becky Thomas presents out going President Mark McWilliams with his plaque.
 
Nursery gals Allyson Hoffmeyer, Laurie Damgaard and Becky Thomas
Nursery gals Allyson Hoffmeyer, Laurie Damgaard and Becky Thomas
Biking to Warren Dunes for a picnic
Biking to Warren Dunes for a picnic
Evening Dinner with Friends
Evening Dinner with Friends
Local Wineries
Local Wineries
Juni's cheerful artwork for everyone!
Juni’s cheerful artwork for everyone!
Alex Head from CJ Fiore getting serious about fireworks!
Alex Head from CJ Fiore getting serious about fireworks!
Great way to end Summer Conference with a bang at Jack Pizzo's!
Great way to end Summer Conference with a bang at Jack Pizzo’s!
 
Beautiful Michigan harbor
Beautiful Michigan harbor
Fun with Allyson Hoffmeyer from Hoffie Nursery
Fun with Allyson Hoffmeyer from Hoffie Nursery

Walking through the nursery on a quiet summer evening brings all sorts of pleasant surprises. On this night, we caught a few Catalpa flowers in full bloom along with the ending blooms of Purple Robe Black Locust. 

A few rows over, we admired a young crop of Honeylocust & Elms. These were recently pruned and staked as needed – ready for next season. We have an amazing crop of 2″ Elms, Locust and Linden for this fall and next spring.

As we turned around to head back we were greeted by a colorful sunset over the Lindens. A perfect way to end the day!

Sunset in the Nursery
Sunset in the Nursery
Purple Catalpa Flowers
Purple Catalpa Flowers
Young Elms in the Nursery
Young Elms in the Nursery
Young Crop of Honeylocust
Young Crop of Honeylocust
Robinia Flowers
Robinia Flowers
Northern Catalpa Flowers
Northern Catalpa Flowers

While sitting on our front porch the other night relaxing & enjoying a much needed rain, we were treated to the most spectacular display. After the rain passed this remarkable rainbow appeared in full glory. Soaking up the rain & sunshine centered perfectly under the colors is the nursery a mile down the road. What a perfect way to welcome summer!

Welcome Summer!
Welcome Summer!
Serviceberry Fruits
Serviceberry Fruits

Nothing is more delicious than a freshly baked pie loaded with fresh summer berries… except maybe a slice with ice cream on top! 

Did you know the berries on Serviceberry are edible? They are in peak fruit right now in the nursery. When the berries are ripe they are scrumptious! The berries mature to a dark red color and taste similar to a blueberry. We have been enjoying these as snacks in the nursery this week. But you need to act quick – the birds swoop in pretty fast & gobble them up!

Learn more about this great tree here: 

http://springgrovenursery.com/ornamentals/our-gallery/amelanchier-serviceberry

 

Soybean Cover Crop in Nursery (6) - Copy

Our new crop of soybeans is up in the nursery! We use soybeans as our cover crop on areas in our field while the land is in between tree crops. The soybeans help add nitrogen back into the soil while holding our soil in place during the season as protection from wind & water erosion. Caring for our soil is a top priority at the nursery. 

As we have mentioned before, Becky is the 5th generation on our family farm. We have kept our farms productive & healthy for so long by taking the utmost care of our soil. Becky’s Dad, Doug Harford, was one of the first farmers in the US to implement no-till farm management into his corn & soybean operation. Through years of no-till farming, our soil has become naturally porous & rich in organic matter.

By using cover crops & minimal tillage in the nursery, we can continue the legacy of conservation started many years ago on our land. We are proud to pass on healthy soils to the next generation!

PS: Shout out to Becky’s brother, Chris Harford for planting & harvesting our soybeans. Thanks Bro!

Soybean Cover Crop in Nursery (9) - Copy Soybean Cover Crop in Nursery (2) - Copy

Yellowwood in Sunshine
Yellowwood in Sunshine
Yellowwood Blooms
Yellowwood Blooms

Early mornings are the best in the nursery – especially when the sun shines through the Yellowwood!  While out spraying early one Saturday morning, Jamie caught a beautiful shot of our next crop of Yellowwood coming along in the field.

Yellowwood are one of our favorite intermediate trees. Their architecture, bark, flowers and foliage are also complimented by their abiilty to adapt & grow well in many spots. 

New Liner Pruning
New Liner Pruning

We just finished getting all of our new liners pruned & ready to grow! Our new liner crop was planted earlier this spring & they will grow on in the field for the next several years. The first initial pruning of the liners is a very important step in the development of the tree.

Our first pruning on liners usually consists of some key actions. We make sure to prune off any damaged or dead branches that occurred from shipping or planting. Next we limb up some of the bottoms branches to get the canopy closer to the height we want from the ground. Next we look at the top & establish a select a leader & adjust the overall height as needed. Then we do the structure work on the lateral branches by thinning out, shortening up, & removing branches as needed.

If the liner pruning is done properly, then the tree is off to a great start for it’s years here in our field. As we move through the blocks & complete the first step of structuring, our crews come behind & do a final touch up to make sure the tree is straight in the ground at the proper height.

Then we just wait for rain & sunshine to do their work & our new trees are ready to grow!