Did you know that in Illinois October is Oak Awareness Month? AKA OAKtober as designated by Gov. Bruce Rauner a few years ago. To celebrate, we would like to feature a few of our favorite new Oak hybrids here at the nursery.
For more on OAKtober, you can also check out this link from the Morton Arboretum: OAKtober
For pictures & descriptions of the Oaks we are growing here at the nursery check out our Oak Photo Gallery
American Dream Oak – Quercus bicolor ‘JFS-KW12’
50′ x 40′ – This new Swamp White Oak cultivar developed by J. Frank Schmidt Nursery was selected for strong resistance to anthracnose & powdery mildew resistance. As a grower, we love the branching consistency in the field. It also has a great shaggy bark with very glossy green leaves.
Streetspire Oak – Quercus robur x Q. alba ‘JFS-KW1QX’
45′ x 14′ – Similar to Crimson Spire Oak, it is another J. Frank Schmidt Nursery introduction. It differs in that it does not hold it’s foliage through winter. It has wider branch angles making it more storm resistant. The red fall color is another great feature of this tree.
Kindred Spirit Oak – Q. robur x Q. bicolor ‘Nadler’
30′ x 6′ – This Oak is one of the tightest columnar trees. It is a sister seedling to the Regal Prince but with a tighter form. The mildew & drought resistant features coupled with the form make it an excellent choice for narrow urban streets.
Heritage Oak – Quercus macdanielli ‘Clemons’
50′ x 40′ – The Heritage Oak has handsome dark green foliage which is very mildew resistant. It is an English and Bur Oak hybrid with excellent cold tolerance. The pyramidal form makes it a good street tree Oak.
What a great season for tree planting we had this year in the nursery! Throughout the last few weeks we were able to get a new crop planted into the nursery for the future. The liners looked beautiful & the weather cooperated well for us. Our crews worked hard and did a great job!
Some new varieties we are excited to be trying out this spring are Urban Sunset Maple, Early Glow Buckeye, Arnold Tulip Tree, Northern Splendor Black Tupelo, Swedish Columnar Aspen, Beacon Oak, Green Whisper Bald Cypress & Musashino Zelkova… just to name a few.
We have some fantastic fresh new trees in the field this spring! Some of the new varieties that we will be digging this spring & fall are: Amur Flame Maple, Crescendo Sugar Maple, Autumn Splendor Horsechestnut, Dakota Pinnacle Birch, Frans Fontaine European Hornbeam, June Snow Dogwood, Windover Gold Ginkgo, Firebird Crabapple, Afterburner Black Tupelo, American Dream Oak, Cobblestone Oak, Streetspire Oak, Kindred Spirit Oak, Heritage Oak, Shawnee Brave Bald Cypress & Techny Arborvitae
We also have a great new crop of liners coming to plant this spring. Some new varieties we are excited to be trying out this spring are Urban Sunset Maple, Early Glow Buckeye, Arnold Tulip Tree, Northern Splendor Black Tupelo, Swedish Columnar Aspen, Beacon Oak, Green Whisper Bald Cypress & Musashino Zelkova… just to name a few.
Supply is tight this season due to increased demand in the market. But don’t worry – we still have a great supply of trees available yet this spring! We will also be planting a full crop into the field as we have continued to do every year. Our consistent planting schedule over the years insures our customers that we can supply their tree needs each season. With greater demand however, early ordering & long range planning will be a good way to make sure we have the trees ready in the season you need them.
We look forward to working with all of our customers to grow excellent quality trees for many years to come!
We recently went to Oregon for the Far West Show & one of the highlights was a tour of the J. Frank Schmidt Arboretum led by Michael Dirr & Keith Warren. They showed us many new tree introductions over the years & talked about how & why they were developed. Here is a short video clip of a few conversations of them talking about Oaks. We thought it would be interesting to share since we are now growing many of these hybrid Oaks for our customers.
Their discussion covers some new hybrids like Streetspire Oak, Heritage Oak, & American Dream Oak. They also discuss the importance of Oaks in the landscape from an ecological stance & graft compatibility of the root stock used to make these new hybrids.
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!