"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

We are working on getting the nursery all tucked away and ready for winter. Cold temps moved in quickly this fall, but we still got most of our field work done.  There are a few more things to take care of out there before we wrap up the season.  We have been working on a new inventory for spring and are happy to report another great crop of trees are ready to go. Our new availability numbers will be ready soon!

The spring planting areas for 2019 are prepped and ready for a fresh crop of liners. We also still have some nice trees above ground that can still be picked up for last minute December projects. Looking ahead we are already taking Spring 2019 orders, and we are gearing up for a great season ahead!

Please give us a call as you are making your plans for next season!

Black Hills Spruce (7)

Spring Grove Nursery is proud to announce several new certifications recently attained for our nursery. Becky Thomas, President and Grower at Spring Grove Nursery, has successfully achieved Woman-Owned Business status with several state & federal agencies. Our goal is to provide nursery customers with more tools and purchasing options when it comes to projects requiring top quality trees grown by a certified nursery. We look forward to growing new relationships with companies that specialize in this type of contract work. Please see the listing below of the certifications now available at Spring Grove Nursery:

  • WBE – Women’s Business Enterprise
    • Granted by the WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council) 5-15-18
  • WOSB – Women-Owned Small Business
    • Granted by the WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council) 5-15-18
  • BEP – Business Enterprise Program
    • Granted by the State of Illinois 6-6-18
  • DBE – Disadvantaged Business Enterprise
    • Granted by Illinois Department of Transportation 10-1-18
    • Participating agencies IDOT, City of Chicago, Chicago Transit Authority, Metra, & Pace

Spring Grove Nursery is a wholesale tree nursery located in North Central Illinois.  Growing on 100 acres in Grundy County just south of the Chicagoland suburbs, our nursery holds a diverse and superior selection of Shade, Ornamental, and Evergreen trees. Ready for pick-up or delivery, we offer landscape contractors, garden centers, municipalities, park districts, and landscape architects a collection of healthy specimen trees to utilize in their projects. The nursery offers over 144 different variety of trees harvested at a target size of 2-3” caliper.

Becky Thomas graduated from University of Illinois in 1993 with a B.A. in Landscape Architecture.  In 1999, Spring Grove Nursery took root as Becky and her husband Jamie planted their first crop of trees. Becky currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Green Industry Association as a Past-President. Her nursery is also a member of the Ornamental Growers Association of Northern Illinois where she also serves on the Board of Directors.

Spring Grove Nursery is proud to offer these new certifications to our customers. We invite you to stop by anytime for a nursery tour or a visit.  We welcome the opportunity to show you our farm, our quality, and our service.


Becky Thomas, President & Grower

WBE Certifications

We loved hosting the H.O.P.E. Program today at the nursery! Together with iTrees.com we spent the day teaching Horticulture students about our 2 businesses. They experienced tree production from the liner stage through the end planting stage in a customer’s yard. Thanks to Roger Purcell from J. Frank Schmidt Nursery for sharing his expertise with the students today. It was chilly but everyone got lots of hands on experience & hopefully learned a bunch!

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At Spring Grove Nursery, we are proud to have a diverse & superior selection of tree species growing in our nursery. We work very hard to select a mix of trees that are well suited for our landscape while at the same time offer a unique palate of colors & textures throughout the seasons. Our tree mix changes a bit every season, and we are always looking for new varieties to add to our nursery. We seek out the best liner suppliers to partner with so that we can insure that the trees we plant are of the best quality & heritage.

Some of the trees on our list are ready to dig & sell now, and some are still growing in the field. Please check with us for the most current availability with pricing.

On the last page of the link we have a list of “Tried & True” Trees. The list highlights trees we have found to perform well in our nursery and in the landscape. These trees seem to adapt well to the extreme climate fluctuations we have experienced in recent years here in our fields. As we expect this trend to continue, we are always evaluating which selections seem to thrive despite a wide range of extremes.   Everything we grow here at the nursery is worth merit, or we wouldn’t grow it! These are just a few selections that have caught our attention in recent years.

Please click on this link below for more about selections at the nursery:

Species Diversity Selections & “Tried and True” Trees



Fall is a perfect time for planting, and in the nursery we planted a few new crops last week. Our new evergreen crop is in the ground and off to a great start. Be looking for our future crop of Norway Spruce, White Pine, Black Hills Spruce and Vanderwolf’s Pyramid Pine in a few years!

We also planted our grass strips to help protect our soil. The strips are in between the tree rows and allow our soil to stay covered and in place during our growing process. We like to fall plant our grass strips so that we get a thick healthy grass stand with minimal weeds. This practice also helps reduce soil erosion and uses minimal tillage. It also allows us the ability to avoid using pre-emergent herbicides. We are proud to pass on healthy soils to the next generation!

Fall is a perfect time to plant for the future!

Evergreen Planting

Our cover crop of soybeans was harvested the other day 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 also use grass strips between the trees rows for the years of production the trees are here. That practice also helps reduce soil erosion and uses minimal tillage. It also allows us the ability to avoid using pre-emergent herbicides as well. 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 Harvest

Spring Grove Nursery is excited to welcome HOPE Students to the nursery Oct 17! We just set up the agenda for the day and will have lots of hands on opportunities for students to learn about tree production from start to finish. Hoping for some great weather & lots of questions!
HOPE Flyer

We are proud to be hosting the IGIA H.O.P.E Program students to our nursery on October 17! The program is making a resurgence this year after a hiatus of several years in the green industry. The mission of the program is to “provide students with an opportunity to experience the Illinois Green Industry with a “hands-on” approach, demonstrating the potential career opportunities that exist within the field of Horticulture.” Read more about HOPE here: IGIA HOPE PROGRAM

We are excited to welcome students and help kick off a new season for the HOPE program in Illinois. Let’s get to work!



We have been busy counting & measuring out in the field and we are pleased to report that the numbers don’t lie… we have a great crop of trees ready to plug in to your fall or spring equations!  We found terrific growth in the field on many varieties. But at the same time, the demand for trees has grown tremendously as well, so now is the time to get your orders for both Fall 2018 & Spring 2019 in!

Please take a look at our new Fall 2018 Availability as you make your upcoming tree project plans. If you send us a list of trees you are looking for this fall or next spring, we will compare with our field numbers right away so that you can secure the trees you need.  We also have a healthy selection of trees above ground ready to go right now. We dug extra trees this spring not readily available from the field in the fall such as Birch, Red Maples, Redbud, Hawthorn, Oaks, Pear, Bald Cypress etc. Those trees look great & can be used in your fall projects!

Please join us here in the field anytime for a first-hand look at how well our trees are adding up here at the nursery!