"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



Some great green industry events are coming up that you will find Spring Grove Nursery at!

iLandscape 2018 Jan 31-Feb 2 Schaumburg

We will be at Booth #1111 at the iLandscape Show this year. Please stop by and visit us! 

13th Annual Chuck Tosovsky Tribute Dinner Jan 30 Glen Ellyn

The annual Chuck Tosovsky Tribute Dinner is held in conjunction with the iLandscape Show. This year’s honoree is Jim Martin from Martin & Associates.  The proceeds from the event will go to support public policy efforts for the green industry in IL.  Again, I hope to see many of your there to support our industry and our association.

Iowa State University Shade Tree Short Course Feb 20-22 Ames, IA

Come visit us at Booth #38! There is an excellent line up of speakers to get us all ready with new info about trees for the upcoming season!

We hope to see you at some of these Green Industry events this winter!

View More: http://sethmorrisphotography.pass.us/springgrovenurseryLast fall Becky Thomas wrote an article for ILCA magazine about a favorite All Star Plant. She chose to highlight the American Dream Oak – a new favorite of the nursery.  Here is her write up on the tree:

Quercus bicolor ‘JFS-KW12’ – American Dream Oak

Who wouldn’t want to plant the American Dream into their landscape! This new Oak introduction from J. Frank Schmidt Nursery is quickly becoming one of our favorites as a grower.

We started growing this “nativar” variety of the native Swamp White Oak back in 2014 shortly after the liners were available from our supplier & developer of the tree, J. Frank Schmidt Nursery in Oregon. They praised the foliage & branching superiority of the new cultivar so we were happy to give it a try in our fields. We have been impressed with how it has grown in our field & we will be harvesting our first crop next spring.

The American Dream Oak will get 50 tall by 40’ wide. The foliage is a bright glossy green that turns to yellow in fall. The bark is similar to the species with a slightly shaggy look. What makes this cultivar distinctive from the species is the strong resistance to anthracnose & powdery mildew. It also has nice branching angles with a broadly pyramidal shape.  The beautiful thick glossy foliage stays green all season, turns yellow in fall, & holds a nice brown into early winter. The texture in the landscape in all season is an asset to the plant.

You can learn more about the tree on our nursery website at www.SpringGroveNursery.com. If you search American Dream Oak on the top in our search box, several blog posts about the tree will pop up. Most recently, we had the opportunity to visit J. Frank Schmidt Nursery & tour their arboretum led by the famous plant duo Michael Dirr & Keith Warren (plant breeder who developed it). We posted a video clip of them talking about American Dream Oak. Check it out!

There is nothing more American than a beautiful old Oak tree. With this new cultivar of an old native favorite, you are sure to see the American Dream growing soon in our communities!

Here are some links to blog entries we have about American Dream Oak:





  • Nancy Buley, J. Frank Schmidt Nursery & Dr. Bert Cregg, Michigan State University

Current climate projections suggest that the climate of the Great Lakes Region could resemble that of present-day Oklahoma by the latter part of this century. Drought, severe heat waves, torrential rains and floods, long-lasting winter snows and other severe weather events make it clear that our changing climate demands significant changes in urban forestry planting palettes and management practices. Learn about research that is helping to identify trees that can acclimate to climate change and how to apply research to your efforts to ensure future urban forest health by selecting and growing broadly adapted, resilient trees.

PRESENTATION UPDATE: Please see the links below to details from the presentation. Dr. Bert Cregg began the talk by sharing his research about the changing climate & how trees acclimate. Nancy Buley followed up by identifying trees that J. Frank Schmidt Nursery grows which have demonstrated successful acclimation in the landscape. Nancy highlighted 34 trees they have selected as superior for our changing climate in the Midwest. At Spring Grove Nursery, we grow almost all of the trees Nancy identified as well-suited for the Chicagoland area. For more info about the trees featured click these links below:



Trees we grow at Spring Grove Nursery referenced in the presentation:

  • Redpointe Maple
  • Crimson Sunset Maple
  • Northern Catalpa
  • Prairie Sentinel Hackberry
  • Yellowwood
  • Turkish Hazel
  • Espresso Kentucky Coffee Tree
  • Emerald City Tulip Tree
  • White Shield Osage Orange
  • Royal Raindrops Crabapple
  • Afterburner Tupelo
  • Exclamation! Planetree
  • Swamp White Oak
  • Crimson Spire Oak
  • American Dream Oak
  • Urban Pinnacle Oak
  • Heritage Oak
  • Cobblestone Oak
  • Streetspire Oak
  • Beacon Oak
  • Shawnee Brave Bald Cypress
  • Emerald Sunshine Elm


iLandscape 2017We are looking forward to having a booth again at the iLandsape Show in Schaumburg. We always enjoy seeing customers & talking about trees.

Visit us at BOOTH #1111

We also encourage you to come out & support our Green Industry lobbying & advocacy efforts in both Springfield & Washington. The Green Industry Tribute Dinner Jan 31 is a great way to do that! This year the event will honor Jim Melka and it will be held in conjunction with the iLandscape Show in Schaumburg.  Here is a link to find out more about the event:

Green Industry Tribute Dinner

Finally, we are excited to participate in a great educational session at the iLandscape Show titled “Urban Tree Selection for a Changing Climate” on Feb 3 from 11:30am-1pm . As a member of the Ornamental Grower’s Association, Becky will be hosting the presentation by Nancy Buley of J. Frank Schmidt Nursery & Dr. Bert Cregg from Michigan State University. Please join us! 

“Tree Selection for a Changing Climate”

We hope to see you at some events this winter!

Roots to Reality Timeline

In this article we want to highlight our Roots to Reality panel that Becky Thomas recently participated in at the iLandscape Show in February. The panel hosted by the OGA featured a diverse cross section of the green industry. We tackled some tough issues & had a vibrant discussion on many topics. One of the resources we featured was a handout showing the Timeline of a Tree. You can click on the pic to the side of this article for a look. It is a handy resource to help understand all of the stages & cooperation that go into bringing a tree from the research/idea stage through production.  Our flyer features Exclamation London Planetree as the example to illustrate. Thanks to the folks at Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects for putting the flyer together!

Roots-to-RealityThe Ornamental Grower’s Association is proud to present “Roots to Reality” as part of the education track at the iLandscape Show. As an OGA member & grower, Becky Thomas will be moderating this exciting panel of experts from around the Green Industry.

“Diversity” in the Green Industry is a hot button topic right now. But it doesn’t only apply to plants. The Green Industry is unique in that the different segments of our profession each add their own “diverse” part of the process. When a project comes together successfully in the end, the result is a beautiful & thriving landscape.  But how do we get from Point A to Point B? How do the different parts of our industry work together to make plants that flourish. What works, what doesn’t? 

As a member of the Ornamental Grower’s Association we are excited to host this “diverse” panel of experts who each specialize in bringing quality plants successfully into quality landscapes. Join our panelists:

  • Researcher Kris Bachtell, Morton Arboretum
  • Liner Grower Guy Meacham, J. Frank Schmidt Nursery
  • OGA Grower Laurie Damgaard, Kaneville Tree Farms
  • Forester Peter Gordon, City of Lake Forest
  • Principal/Horticulturalist John Evans, Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects
  • Moderator Becky Thomas, Spring Grove Nursery

We look forward to bringing you a lively discussion on how all of these diverse specialties work together to create plants the thrive in our landscape.