We recently attended the Iowa State Shade Tree Short Course and were treated to some excellent educational opportunities. One of our favorite presentations was by Guy Meacham from J. Frank Schmidt Nursery. Guy is the New Plant Development Manager for the nursery, and he shared some of the recent new introductions to come out of the nursery breeding & selection program. We have been planting J. Frank Schmidt nursery liners since the beginning of our nursery, and we are always excited to try new varieties.
Guy shared how the plant breeding and selection process takes many years – sometimes over 20 – to find and select a new tree variety. Through careful observation in the landscape and breeding methods in the nursery, superior specimens are chosen for particular traits. The end result is often a tree that exhibits better color, habit, tolerance or beauty than the straight species.
At Spring Grove Nursery we grow over half of the trees Guy featured in his presentation. We are always eager to try new varieties that we think will perform well in our nursery and for our customers in the landscape. Click the link to Guy’s presentation for his full list. The varieties that we are currently growing are Northern Glow Maple, Armstrong Gold Maple, Redpointe Maple, Crimson Sunset Maple, Urban Sunset Maple, Emerald Avenue Hornbeam, Heartland Catalpa, Prairie Sentinel Hackberry, June Snow Dogwood, Espresso Kentucky Coffeetree, Emerald City Tulip Tree, Royal Raindrops Crabapple, Afterburner Tupelo, Autumn Treasure Hophornbeam, Mountain Sentinel Aspen, Pink Flair Cherry, American Dream Oak, Beacon Oak, Urban Pinnacle Oak, Crimson Spire Oak, Streetspire Oak, Green Whisper Bald Cypress, Emerald Sunshine Elm.
Thanks Guy Meacham for a great presentation. Keep up the good work finding new trees for us to grow!
We are back from a great trip out west to visit our supplier nurseries in Oregon. The weather was beautiful & the nurseries were even better! We are very proud to have such great nurseries to partner with. All of growers we work with produce top quality trees & the fields out there have never looked better! Here is a re-cap of some of the visits we had on our trip:
Carlton Plants – We started off the trip with a tour at Carlton Plants. Their fields were picture perfect as always. The day ended with Carlton Plants annual salmon dinner. The salmon was caught the day before & cooked in this traditional method. It was a real northwest treat!
Carlton Plants Salmon Bake
Carlton Plants Tulip Tree
Carlton Plants salmon cooked the traditional way
J. Frank Schmidt Nursery – We were treated to 2 tours of the Schmidt farms. Their Barlow Farm is where most of the liners we buy are grown. Roger & Sam gave us a great tour of the fields. Everything looked perfect & we saw a few new trees to add to our mix as well. We also toured their Hood Acres farm where most of their root bag & container tree production is. Some of our new favorites we saw were Urban Sunset Maple, Green Whisper Bald Cypress, Beacon Oak, & Armstrong Gold Maple.
IL Growers at J. Frank Schmidt Nursery – Roger is showing off their Elms
J. Frank Schmidt Nursery Ginkgo
Gigantic Tulip Tree Leaves
Green Whisper Bald Cypress – a new one we are adding to try – great foliage
White Shield Osage Orange – we have been growing this new variety for a few years now
Espresso Kentucky Coffee Tree – a new favorite variety which is seedless
Urban Sunset Maple – Roger showing us a new hybrid variety we are going to try out next year
J. Frank Schmidt Nursery Arboretum Tour – This part of the trip needs it’s own write up! To celebrate their 70th year, the Schmidt family hosted employees & customers for a fantastic evening. The grounds of the Schmidt family Arboretum were the perfect setting for the event which was kicked off by a tour led by Michael Dirr & Keith Warren. To those in the plant world – they need no introduction! Below are some highlights from the tour. Thanks Schmidt team & here’s to another 70 years of great trees!
Below are some pics & a video clip of Dirr & Warren talking about Oaks:
Streetspire Oak – great form on this as it matures
Crimson Spire Oak – one of the oldest ones around
Michael Dirr & Keith Warren giving the J. Frank Schmidt Arboretum Tour
Crimson Sunset Maple – this hybrid has become our favorite for purple foliage
Streetspire Oak – we have been growing this for a while & really like the form & foliage
Beacon Oak – a new bicolor variety introduced by Michael Dirr. We were impressed & ordered some for next year!
Emerald City Tulip Tree – this new intro from Schmidt is a great tree for the urban landscape
Triumph Elm – one of the first elm hybrids & still one of the best
Heritage Oak – this English & Bur hybrid is becoming one of our favorites in the nursery
Robinson Nursery – Josh & Chris at Robinson Nursery gave us a great tour of their fields & container production. We get some really nice container oaks from them as well as some other species. They have a great product & are fun to work with!
Robinson Nursery Oaks
The “HOT” new Coffee Tree – Decaf!
Kuenzi Nursery – Myron always enjoys showing off his nursery & we once again saw some great trees! We like his root bag method of growing & his trees transplant well for us in our nursery.
Myron at Kuenzi Nursery showing us his trees
Around Oregon… We also had time to enjoy a few days of beautiful Oregon! From biking in Portland to hiking at Mt. Hood – Oregon is a great place to do business with fun on the side!